NATO use of SAS and mercenaries in Libya

The Guardian has previously reported the presence of former British special forces troops, now employed by private security companies and funded by a number of sources, including Qatar. They have been joined by a number of serving SAS soldiers.

They have been acting as forward air controllers – directing pilots to targets – and communicating with Nato operational commanders. They have also been advising rebels on tactics, a task they have not found easy.

For the SAS it is a return to old stamping grounds. In one of their first successful missions in the second world war, they attacked airfields in Libya, destroying 60 aircraft. SAS battle honours include Tobruk in 1941 and a raid on Benghazi in 1942.

They returned to Libya in February this year, even before the UN mandate urging states to protect civilians from Gaddafi’s forces. Shortly afterwards, a group of SAS soldiers were seized, though quickly released, by nervous rebels south of Benghazi when their Chinook helicopter landed two MI6 officers with communications equipment.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/23/sas-troopers-help-coordinate-rebels

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G4S spots great opportunities for security work in Libya

G4S, the security company that employs more than 600,000 people worldwide, protecting everything from airports to rock stars, is hoping it will be able to pick up more work in a post-Gaddafi Libya.

The group provides security for infrastructure, such as oil and gas pipelines, “in numerous countries, and can certainly do it in Libya”, he said. If G4S wins a contract in Libya it will be the first time the company, which traces its roots back to 1901, has operated in the north African country. G4S, the biggest riser in the FTSE 100 on Tuesday , was also boosted by the extension of a contract to protect the US embassy in Afghanistan until the end of next year.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/aug/23/g4s-eyes-opportunities-in-new-libya

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