20 APR 2011
• Joint force HQ indicates serious nature of move
• Gaddafi's communications targeted by Nato
By Richard Norton-Taylor | The Guardian
A joint British-French military team of advisers is to be sent to Benghazi in a move that is likely to lead to accusations of mission creep.
Separately, Nato has said its missiles have targeted Gaddafi's communications network. The moves came after rebels warned that the besieged town of Misrata would fall within days.
The UK-French team will advise the rebels on intelligence-gathering, logistics, and communications. In an indication of the serious nature of the move, the team will be run by a joint force headquarters, the Guardian has learned.
Officials stress that the team consists of advisers, rather than trainers, and that the move does not involve arming the rebels. There are no plans for the team to go to Misrata, the officials added.
William Hague, the foreign secretary, said in a statement that the team "will enable the UK to build on the work already being undertaken to support and advise the NTC [National Transitional Council] on how to better protect civilians".
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