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'Syrian mercenaries, warplanes aiding Gaddafi'

March 7, 2011 10:26

Report: Libyan rebels shoot down two Syrian planes; Gaddafi hires paid fighters from Eastern Europe, Arab countries.

Libyan rebels using anti-aircraft gun

Libyan rebels using anti-aircraft gun 311 R. (photo credit:Reuters)

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is using paid mercenaries from Serbia, Syria, the Ukraine and Romania to attack rebels, Asharq al-Awsat reported.

According to Al Jazeera, Libyan rebels shot down two Syrian planes in Ras Lanuf.

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Syria denied the claims, Israel Radio reported.

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi advanced east of the recaptured town of Bin Jawad on Sunday, heading towards the rebel-held oil town of Ras Lanuf, about 60 km (40 miles) away, witnesses said.

"I went to Bin Jawad and about 13 miles beforehand I saw Gaddafi forces, a large truck and army vehicles, and a fighter jet, they were coming slowly in this direction," Ahmed al-Araibi, a driver, told Reuters.

"I saw army trucks ahead, I was about 20 km away (from Bin Jawad)," said Khalifa Saad, another driver. While another witness said there were several trucks heading to Ras Lanuf.

A BBC reporter also showed Reuters footage from Sunday of a truck and warplane near Bin Jawad, heading towards Ras Lanuf.
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