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LIBYA CRISIS
Sweden's Gripen aircraft reach Sicily

Sweden's Gripen aircraft reach Sicily

Published: 03 Apr 2011 08:56 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Apr 2011 08:56 GMT+02:00

All eight Swedish JAS Gripen fighters have landed at a base in Siciliy and are now under NATO command. They can be in the airspace over Libya by the middle of next week, reported news agency TT.

The first three JAS Gripen fighters landed Saturday afternoon at Sigonella base in Sicily. “We flew via a base in Hungary and landed there, and then later continued to Sicily,” Anders Silwer, head of the Swedish air force, told TT.

A Gulfstream also flew down to Sigonella with technicians and security personnel.

Five other Gripen fighters arrived Sunday and an additional four Hercules planes are currently on their way to Sicily.

Silwer told TT that it is likely that two Swedish flying officers each will be placed at three combat control centers – in Napels and outside Venice in Italy, and at Izmir in Turkey.

The Swedish Armed Forces are now analyzing which of NATO's mission rules the Swedish pilots will follow. Later the pilots will be educated on the rules before they start to fly in the area.

Nine of the ten pilots who are participating in the operation have chosen to remain anonymous under the mission.

“It's a way for the pilots and their families to have some peace from the media,” Johan Svetoft, Head of the F17 base in Kallinge, told Swedish Radio (Sveriges Radio) in Blekinge.

Criticism has arisen because the JAS Gripen fighters only can attack enemy fighter planes at a time when Qaddafi's air force is likely destroyed.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said that he needed a broad majority in parliament, adding that the Social Democrats set those limits to support the mission.

“Then I had to kind of hold them back within the Moderate and other Alliance parties who also thought that Sweden should take a more offensive role,” he told TT.

Reinfeldt would not air his personal opinions on the question except to say that broad support was most important. He added that a no-fly zone must be monitored and that altercations can occur.

TT/The Local/gs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:29 April 3, 2011 by planet.sweden
It's laughable, the Swedes have only gone in after all of Gaddafi's airforce and anti aircraft defences have been destroyed. Nor will they attack ground targets. This is little more than a fly over. Completely pointless.
11:40 April 3, 2011 by mikmak
It's symbolic, France who where the first airforce in, could probably have handled it themselves, but everyone including the US want to be seen taking action.
13:06 April 3, 2011 by Marc the Texan
The first strikes were actually 122 Tomahawk missiles. Mostly US and some British. That is what destroyed air defenses well before aircraft were over the country. France was then given the ceremonial role of first shots from aircraft, followed minutes later by US and British aircraft that were over Lybia concurrently.
17:17 April 3, 2011 by Decedo
If the swedes want to make a more relevant contribution, they should just send in some IKEA furniture. By the time Gaddafi's troups figure out how to set it up, the rebels will have taken key areas.
17:26 April 3, 2011 by ionut
Sweden is more about hot chicks and humanitarian missions.Now they will teach the savage muslim to treat well their ladies,with respect and compassion.Make love not war.Peace man!!!
18:32 April 3, 2011 by diegoveggie
good to be on the right side of history, for once
18:39 April 3, 2011 by Great Scott
@Decedo

I think that is the best joke in The Local's history. Some jokes make me smile, but this was a real cracker, keep it up.

May be they should send in some of IKEA's staff to slow them down even more.
18:48 April 3, 2011 by misssh
decedo

it also had a big smile on my face when i read what you wrote!!!!

love your work
19:14 April 3, 2011 by Rebel
@diegoveggie, and what side of history is that? The O bomb ya doctrine of blowing countries up to gain peace?
19:45 April 3, 2011 by DAVID T
Anybody know why Sweden has a yellow stripe in it's flag?
21:01 April 3, 2011 by Essjay
T o David T, that is a gross insult to the people of Sweden , whatever the issue you are out of order and guess you think you are so smart , probably a geeky wimp pretending to be the hard man , what,s the colour of your flag ,skidmark brown !come on give us all a good laugh !
21:13 April 3, 2011 by Rebel
If Sweden kissed Obama's posterior any more than it does it would look like a scene from The Human Centipede.
21:37 April 3, 2011 by Jules
Marc the Texan

Actually French jets were the first to engage Libyan targets. The French had jets in the air awaiting the end of formal negotiations by the coalition, to strike first, this pre-empted their partners, to much annoyance by US and UK high commands. The Tomahawks were launched later that night.
21:54 April 3, 2011 by Rebel
Ironic -- the Swedes all had a cow when Iraq was invaded even though Bush had a resolution from Congress and had a coalition twice as big as the one attacking Libya. Iraq had a dictator who killed tens of thousands of his own people and had invaded two nations in the past and threatened Israel. Yet just because it is Obama and his little group of European side-kicks then Swedes think this is an okay war. News to the Swedes -- check why France and Britain were getting ready to attack since last year -- Ghadaffi had threatened to nationalize the foreign oil operations and return more money to the people of Libya. Now while I am sure he would have taken a huge cut, he is someone quirky enough to come through with his populist demands.
23:00 April 3, 2011 by johnny1939
@Rebel

Sweden had a different administration at the time of the Irak attack. The attack was a big mistake and so was the invasion of Afghanistan. So is probably getting involved in Libya...let them keep their oil. Nothing we can do about it anyway.
23:51 April 3, 2011 by BarCode
Wow. They must be really slow jets.
00:17 April 4, 2011 by DAVID T
@Essjayd

boo hoo -
01:22 April 4, 2011 by Investor612
Wow. The Swedish jets are just now arriving in Sicily. The speed and decisiveness amazes.

Meanwhile NATO has requested the US continue to fly missions over Libya while Europe continues to organize its military mightless. Just imagine that, The US is already doing most of the fighting and dying in Afghanistan, is thousands of miles from Libya, and yet is needed to handle this situation on Europe's doorstep.

This is all about fears of a refugee/immigration influx into Europe. Given the lack of support the US has received from its "allies" on the continent, one wonders why the US is involved in helping in Libya at all.
08:43 April 4, 2011 by No Haram Done
Capt. Obvious here:

1. ALL protesters throughout the ME have NEVER called for an end to the Shari'a-lite (religious law) that informs & animates the Libyan & ALL Muslim gov'ts.

2. Another name for the Shari'a is "CLITORECTOMY on COMMAND"!

3. No protest group has offered anything LIKE a bicameral/parliamentary gov't to replace the current top-down 'look'!

4. Expect eventual changeovers in ALL of these Muslim gov'ts, but with a continued, if not INCREASED, alignment with the Shari'a.

5. Libya's so-called "opposition" (MOSTLY in Benghazi, a long-time Al-Qaeda STRONGHOLD!) is composed of Al-Qaeda elements like its "leader" Al-Libi, along with the 'Muslim Brotherhood' & the 'Egyptian Islamic Jihad' (the EIJ is STILL BUTTHURT @ 'Dafy for INVADING Sadat's Egypt in '77)!

ALL these FOOLS want the Shari'a.

6. ALL GENUINE pro-Democracy protesters (they're GREATLY outnumbered) will lose out to the pro-Shari'a crowd, just like the 'moderates' & women have ALREADY lost out in Egypt to pro-Shari'a "cleric" Qaradawi/the Muslim Brotherhood/Egyptian Islamic Jihad OR to pro-Shari'a "ruler" Rached Ghannouchi in Tunisia.

6. Islam, that RACIST, HATE-BASED "ideology" spawned from that RACIST, HATE-BASED tract, the KORAN, is a LIE & the TRUTH IS KILLING IT!

7. Islam is NOT a race, but a supremacist ideology (like Nazism) & includes the RACIST idea that Arab Muslims are SUPERIOR Muslims because Mohammed HIMSELF was an Arab!

"Arabs are the most noble people in lineage, the most prominent, and the best in deeds. We were the first to respond to the call of the Prophet. We are Allah's helpers and the viziers of His Messenger. We fight people until they believe in Allah. He who believes in Allah and His Messenger has protected his life and possessions from us. As for one who disbelieves, we will fight him forever in Allah's Cause. Killing him is a small matter to us." - (A Hadith: Tabari IX 69)

Mohammed referred to Black Africans as "Pugnosed Raisin Heads". (A Hadith: Sahih Al-Bukhari vol. 1, no. 662 and vol. 9, no. 256).

"Laws are silent in times of war." - Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106-43 BCE

"When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon." - Thomas Paine, Revolutionary War patriot & firebrand

"Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave." - Thucydides, classical Greek writer

"Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - Anon., DKos, '08.

"Church of Reality: Great slogan "If it's real we believe it." - Anon., DKos,'08.

"Truth can stand on its own and needs no help from half-truths, shades of grey, white-lies, or plain lies" - Anon., DKos, '08.

"Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment." - Solomon Short

"SHIFT HAPPENS!" - Anon., DKos, '08
10:57 April 4, 2011 by rise
@ No Haram Done

as a metaphor:

Satan's

Hordes

Arisen

Reclaiming

It

All

figuratively that is Sharia, as simple as that, so the civilized world need to work together hindering those hordes or we will all drown. It isn't hate nor is it love but only an ascertainment.
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