A Canadian warship is to sail off to join an International flotilla assembling off Libya without a specific mission mentioned for the deployment that will likely bolster a major US naval force already destined to the area.
The 134-meter frigate is carrying 225 sailors and a Sea King helicopter on its deck. It is to leave Halifax harbor and begin a seven-day journey to troubled Libya, AFP reported.
The warship HMCS Charlottetown will conduct undefined operations that reportedly may include possible evacuation assistance as pro-democracy protesters close-in on capital city of Tripoli to force the ouster of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the parliament that it would participate in international evacuation operations “in light of the troubled and likely ongoing concerns in the region.”
Brutal crackdown by Muammar Gaddafi’s regime on pro-democracy protesters has left thousands of people dead, and many more injured so far.
Thousands of Libyan citizens have been fleeing to Egypt, Tunisia and some European countries such as Italy.
Gaddafi has vowed to stay in power despite the fact that most of the country, except for capital Tripoli, has come under the control of anti-government forces as the former justice minister has already formed a transitional government. Agencies