Italian drone completes first surveillance mission

August 13th, 2011 - 5:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Rome, Aug 13 (IANS/AKI) The first Italian pilotless Predator drone has completed a 12-hour surveillance flight over Libya after taking off from an air base in Foggia, southern Italy.

The Predator B drone took off from the Amendola air base in the Puglia region Wednesday and carried out its surveillance mission, crossing the Strait of Sicily in the Mediterranean between Italy and North Africa.

Aircraft taking part in NATO’s Unified Protection mission to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya and protect civilians from attack by forces loyal to embattled Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi are now taking off from six Italian military bases located across the country.

Since the beginning of the UN mandated NATO operation March 31 a total of 18,656 flights, including 7,079 strike sorties have been conducted, the alliance said in a statement Friday.

–IANS/AKI
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