OSLO, March 18 (Reuters) - Norway said on March 18 it would join international military operations against Muammar Gaddafi's forces in Libya, possibly by sending fighter aircraft, after the United Nations Security Council authorised such action.
"We will contribute to the operation," Defence Minister Grete Faremo told the daily VG. "But it is too early to say exactly in what way. Sending air capabilities would be natural."
Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere told state broadcaster NRK that NATO member Norway was prepared to send transport aircraft and F16 fighters to Libya.
The Security Council late on Thursday authorised a no-fly zone and military strikes to protect Libyan civilians and curb Gaddafi's forces, hours after the Libyan leader threatened to storm the rebel bastion of Benghazi.
Faremo said Norway might contribute fighter aircraft or air transport for humanitarian operations.
"Gaddafi has resources and is prepared to use them, also to assault civilians. His strength has primarily been built on (attacking from the) air, and therefore, it has been important for the U.N. to respond," Faremo told NRK.
"Now it is important to see how we can quickly help ease the situation for civilians," Faremo said.
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