Libya conflict: Gaddafi forces ‘launched Scud missile’

Scud B SS-1 mobile medium range ballistic missile

From the BBC:  Military forces loyal to Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi have fired a Scud missile for the first time in the country’s six-month conflict, US defence officials say.

They say it was launched from near the coastal city of Sirte and aimed at Brega – currently held by rebels – but landed harmlessly in the desert.

Pro-Gaddafi forces are believed to have more than 200 Scuds in their arsenal. . . .

Rebel spokesman Ahmed Bani said the use of a Scud was a sign of desperation by the Libyan leader. "This man will use any weapon necessary to keep his regime going and resume his rule, even for few hours," he said.

"It’s becoming increasingly clear that Gaddafi’s days are numbered," said White House spokesman Jay Carney. . . .

The Scud launch was detected by US forces, who say the missile was fired on Sunday morning and landed in the desert about 80km (50 miles) outside the strategic port of Brega. . . .

Scud missiles have a range of up to about 800km (500 miles) and can carry a warhead of up to about one tonne.

Earlier in the conflict the Nato-led coalition targeted rocket launchers and Scud missile containers near Sirte, saying the weapons could be used against civilians or on areas beyond Col Gaddafi’s control.  (photo:

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