British Defense Secretary Liam Fox has announced plans to deploy British troops on the Libyan border with Tunisia.
In a parliamentary session on Wednesday, Fox claimed the British troops will be dispatched to the border to enforce “safe havens” for more than 30,000 civilian refugees fleeing from attacks by Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi's troops, the Independent reported.
He also asserted that the troop deployment would be within the terms of a UN resolution authorizing military action in Libya.
Defying warnings that the UK may have to prepare itself for a long war, Fox reiterated that British operation in Libya “isn't time-limited.”
However, he rejected suggestions that the Libyan war has reached a stalemate, saying “politically, economically, [and] militarily, we are moving forward.”
Despite economic austerity measures adopted by the British government, the defense minister insisted that the required funds would be allocated to continue operations in Libya for as long as necessary.
“We are not going to be limited by pounds, shillings and pence but we have the resolve to see through the mission,” he said.
Since the revolution against Colonel Gaddafi's regime began in mid-February, tens of thousands have been killed and injured in clashes between Libyan revolutionaries and pro-Gaddafi forces.
US Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz estimated on Wednesday that the number of Libyan fatalities since the revolution in the North African country began may be as high as 30,000 people.
Meanwhile, many civilians have reportedly been killed since the Western coalition unleashed a major air campaign against Libyan forces on March 19 under a UN mandate, namely to “protect the Libyan population.”