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Incident involving opposition forces on 16 June 2011

NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

18 Jun. 2011

Naples, Italy – NATO has looked into reports of an airstrike that hit opposition forces in the area of Brega and can confirm that NATO aircraft hit military vehicles on 16 June 2011. This incident occurred in an area of conflict between Qadhafi forces and opposition forces.

A column of military vehicles including tanks was observed in an area where Qadhafi forces had recently been operating. In a particularly complex and fluid battle scenario, it was assessed these vehicles were a threat to civilians and they were subsequently engaged by NATO aircraft. NATO can now confirm that the vehicles hit were part of an opposition patrol. We regret any possible loss of life or injuries caused by this unfortunate incident. NATO strives to operate at all times with precision and care to avoid civilian casualties.

NATO’s operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR is being conducted under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. This mandate authorizes NATO to use all necessary measures to protect the civilian population of Libya.

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