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Warships head to Libya

Published: 24 Feb 2011 16:40 GMT+01:00

A spokesman for the Defence Ministry said the frigates "Brandenburg" and "Rheinland-Pfalz" and the tactical support ship “Berlin” should reach their destination in a few days. They are headed for the Gulf of Sidra, an arm of the Mediterranean that forms a wide bay on Libya’s coast east of Tripoli.

There are some 600 troops on the three ships, the ministry said, which had originally sailed from Wilhelmshaven on Feb. 15 toward the Mediterranean on a routine training mission.

Berlin did not reveal the details of any possible naval rescue mission. “There are no concrete plans,” a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

The Foreign Ministry has advised all Germans to leave Libya, where fighting is intensifying between those loyal to leader Muammar Qaddafi and anti-government forces pushing for him to give up power.

As more towns in the east come under opposition control and Qaddafi’s forces work to strengthen their control in the capital, desperate Libyans and frightened foreigners have been pouring out of the country by any means they can get.

There are an estimated 160 German nationals still in Libya, 50 of which are thought to be in the capital Tripoli.

Flag carrier Lufthansa announced on Thursday the cancellation of its daily flight to Libya until at least Monday due to the worsening security situation there.

Lufthansa normally flies to the capital Tripoli once a day from its hub in Frankfurt, but has brought "between 600 and 700 people" back to Germany in the past week using larger planes than usual, a spokesman for the company said.

DAPD/AFP/kdj

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:59 February 24, 2011 by avserb
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
18:29 February 24, 2011 by Frenemy
When I look at that picture I can't help but hum Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries"...
19:01 February 24, 2011 by lordkorner
here we go here we go here we go,la la la la la la etc...
21:00 February 24, 2011 by DOZ
Legitamite?
00:32 February 25, 2011 by Surferjoe
The germans will need more than Wagner to rescue all the folks that want to get out of that third world african hellhole. These ships are at least a beginning.
04:32 February 25, 2011 by Surferjoe
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
06:05 February 25, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Despite knowing ahead of time that it would probably be a waste of said time, I tried really hard to understand what you were saying there, kill, but I really can't.
09:50 February 25, 2011 by catjones
One well-placed missile would end this drama......we know where Ga-Daffy lives.
09:55 February 25, 2011 by aceroni
Is the ship commander called Rommel?
10:39 February 25, 2011 by freechoice
i think US Predator drone is much more effective in issuing death penalty to dictators and help to save thousands of civilian lives.
11:20 February 25, 2011 by idiot
quote catjones

> One well-placed missile would end this drama......we know where Ga-Daffy lives.

Gullible fool.
14:25 February 25, 2011 by Frenemy
@freechoice: Really?! They didn't work too well with Saddam, did they?

And just for the record, the AGM-114's that they carry are designed to blow sh!t up, not safe-guard civilian populations...
15:11 February 25, 2011 by idiot
> And just for the record, the AGM-114's that they carry are designed to blow sh!t up, not safe-guard civilian populations...

Should they use a kayak?
20:08 February 26, 2011 by Beachrider
Cannot be sure, but those ships are probably about keeping some of the Libyan soldiers from preventing an evacuation effort. If you actually have to fire very many of the missles, then you will need to be ready to kill a lot of Libyan soldiers.

In the unlikely situation that Germany is about to start an occupation of Libya, AFAIK the German constitution prevents unilateral actions of that type.
22:17 February 28, 2011 by wenddiver
When you send warships into a conflict situation, you have to be ready to go to war. If you haven't thought that out, you already have problems. If a Libiyan Jet sinks one and kills a thousand German Sailors what are you going to do? Have you arranged air cover for those ships.
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