In what is believed to be the first foreign intervention in the ongoing crisis in Libya, French military jets have flown to the North African country in an effort to prevent Moammar Gaddafi from bombarding Benghazi, the rebel stronghold in the eastern part of the nation.
Our air force will oppose any aggression, said French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
French Rafale fighter jets were reportedly seen departing from Corsica, as well as from another base at Saint-Dizier eastern France.
According to BBC, French military officials said French aircraft have flown over all Libyan territory on reconnaissance missions.
The United Nations passed a resolution on Thursday to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. Leaders from various Arab and Western nations have been meeting with Sarkozy in Paris to discuss options in Libya.
In Libya, the civilian population, which demanding nothing more than the right to choose their own destiny, is in mortal danger, Sarkozy added..
It is our duty to respond to their anguished appeal.
The action comes just hours after forces loyal to Gaddafi engineered a military assault on Benghazi – in direct contradiction to the ceasefire the Libyan government announced yesterday.
Meanwhile, Libyan official have denied its forces are attacking Benghazi.
British jets from the Royal Air Force (RAF) are also preparing reconnaissance missions over Libya.
Mark Rutte, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters in Paris that he thinks British, French and Canadian aircraft will commence with airstrikes in Libya, perhaps as early as Saturday.