HMS Westminster returns home from Libya mission

HMS Westminster returns to Portsmouth
HMS Westminster returns to Portsmouth

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HMS Westminster has returned home to Portsmouth this morning from her operations in Libya.

The Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate has been patrolling off the coast of Benghazi where she has been enforcing a naval blockade to stop Colonel Gaddafi’s gunboats from leaving the port to bomb his own citizens.

She was sent home after HMS Liverpool was deployed to the area as part of Nato’s arms embargo.

HMS Westminster’s captain Commander Tim Green said: ‘I am immensely proud of what we’ve achieved.

‘We saw first-hand the Libyan regime’s use of force against the population.

‘We tracked the planes and saw the explosions. Gaddafi’s navy was shelling Libyan cities.’

Cdr Green said once the United Nations passed security council resolution 1973 to establish a no-fly zone to stop Gaddafi’s use of force, Westminster had authority to open fire on Libyan warships if they tried to attack rebels.

He said: ‘Our presence, along with other UK assets and coalition partners, was a genuine deterrent. There is no doubt our presence in the area has saved the lives of Libyan people.’