U.S. F-15E Fighter Jet Crashes In Libya During Operation Odyssey Dawn
A U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter jet based out of Royal Air Force base at Lakenheath, England crashed in Libya due to equipment malfunction. Both crew members ejected safely and have been recovered from Libya and are in the hands of the U.S. on Tuesday, according to U.S. military and a senior U.S. defense official.
A pilot and weapons officer aboard an F-15E Strike Eagle had flown from Aviano Air Base in Italy to Libya when the fighter experienced problems, the U.S. military command for Africa said in a statement. Both pilots ejected, the statement said.
The pilot and weapons officer suffered minor injuries but landed safely in Libya, the military said.
A U.S. military plane picked up the pilot, a senior defense official said. Libyan rebels recovered the second crew member and “took good care of him” until coalition forces “could come get him,” the official said.
Kenneth Fidler, a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command said that the crash was not due to enemy or hostile actions.
Watch the video report of the crash below:
In an attempt to protect civilians from pro-Gadhafi forces, the United States fired 20 tomahawk
cruise missiles into Libya targeting about 20 radar and anti-aircraft sites along Libya’s Mediterranean coast over the past 12 hours. Operation Odyssey Dawn started on Saturday and since then a combined 159 tomahawk missiles have been fired by the U.S. and the U.K. Operation Odyssey Dawn has been targeting Libyan air defense sites and command centers.
Gen. Carter Ham, the head of U.S. forces in Africa said that Gadhafi himself has not been targeted, and there are no plans to kill the leader.
Support for the air strikes has not been universal. The Russian government claims that the mission has killed innocent civilians and urged more caution. India, China and Venezuela have also spoken out against the airstrikes.
(Read the full story from CNN.com)