Africa,  Libya

Al-Jazeera airs footage of ‘western troops on the ground’ in Libya

On the heels of talk of escalating commitment to the fighting in Libya with the deployment of attack helicopters from the UK and France, and the growing consensus that Gaddafi and his forces will not be dislodged by bombing alone, Al-Jazeera has footage of armed Western troops on the front line with rebels near Misrata.

It is the first apparent confirmation that foreign special forces are playing an active role in the Libyan conflict. The speculation in the report is that the men filmed are British and that they are there ahead of the deployment of Apache helicopters. Reports suggest that the helicopters could be deployed in days.

The deployment of troops and helicopters is as Labour MP Jim Murphy said last week a “serious moment” and “a serious escalation”, but it is still limited and what other choice is there? Without additional support Gaddafi’s forces will not be defeated and he will not be dislodged.