Oslo: Norway on Tuesday withdrew as planned its
final four F-16 fighter jets that have been taking part in the
NATO-led mission over Libya, the Norwegian military said.
The Norwegian planes, which landed at their bases in
Bodoe in the north of Norway and in Oerland in the central
west of the country, carried out 583 missions, out of a total
of 6,493 flown by NATO since March 31, and dropped 569 bombs,
military spokesman Petter Lindqvist told AFP.
On June 10, the centre-left government, split over
Norway`s prolonged participation in the bombing, announced it
would gradually withdraw its six F-16 fighter jets stationed
at the Souda base on the Greek island of Crete.
The government explained that its small air force
could not sustain a large air contribution for a long period
Only eight of NATO`s 28 member states have flown
bombing missions since the alliance took command of the
operation on March 31: Norway, Britain, France, Canada,
Belgium, Denmark, Italy and the United States.
London has increased its contribution by adding four
Tornado jets, effectively making up for the loss of the
NATO officials say Norway`s departure will not affect
the tempo of air operations, which have averaged more than 100
sorties per day including around 50 missions aimed at hitting