Thursday, 23 June 2011

UK operations in Libya cost £250 million

According to government officials, UK's expenditure on military operations in Libya is now in the region on £250 million. Full disclosure of the costs is expected to be announced later today.

The UK has been contributing to NATO's mission to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya and protect civilians since 19th March. Speaking about it, Defence Secretary Liam Fox said civilian casualties drove up costs but the spending showed the UK held the "higher moral ground".

Back in March, when air strikes on Tripoli began, Chancellor George Osborne estimated that the cost of British involvement would be "in the order of tens of millions of pounds, not hundreds of millions". Last week, however, Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander said it could run "into the hundreds of millions".

Speaking in the House of Commons, Fox said people would "have to take into account that we have used more expensive precision weaponry so that we minimise civilian casualties in Libya…And if we are going to fight operations in the future based on minimising civilian casualties there is clearly a financial price to pay…I think that shows that we are on the moral high ground and that we place a higher value on human life than the Qadhafi regime does.”

Sources: BBC News, Sky News, The Guardian

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

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