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Assault on Tripoli planned weeks ago

world Updated: Aug 26, 2011 00:12 IST
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Details of the rebel uprising in Tripoli are emerging, showing weeks of careful planning by rebels and their international allies before they seized the Libyan capital.

British military and civilian advisers, including special forces troops, along with those from France, Italy and Qatar, have spent months with rebel fighters, giving them key, up-to-date intelligence and watching out for any al-Qaeda elements trying to infiltrate the rebellion.

More details emerged of how Nato forces helped Libyan rebels storm Tripoli.

“Honestly, Nato played a very big role in liberating Tripoli. They bombed all the main locations that we couldn’t handle with our light weapons,” said Fadlallah Haroun, a military spokesman who helped organise the operation. An increasing number of American hunter-killer drones provided round-the-clock surveillance.

Covert special forces teams from Qatar, France, Britain and some east European states provided critical assistance, such as logisticians, forward air controllers for the rebel army.

Prior to the attack, rebels smuggled weapons into Tripoli and stashed them in safe houses. The guardian