Published on 14 May 2015, by M. Tomazy.
Leaked EU papers yesterday revealed plans for an air and naval blitz on the people-smuggling networks responsible for putting migrants on boats making perilous journeys across the Mediterranean.
But the document also suggests ground operations might be needed to destroy the smugglers’ vessels and assets, such as fuel dumps.
The papers say: ‘The operation would require a broad range of air, maritime and land capabilities. These could include: intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; boarding teams; patrol units (air and maritime); amphibious assets; destruction air, land and sea, including Special Forces units.’
Last night officials declined to specify what role Britain would play in the operation, which is due to be debated by EU ministers on Monday. But the reference to Special Forces will lead to speculation of SAS involvement on the ground.
It is unclear who would be in charge of a military operation but the most likely candidate is the United Nations.
Britain – which has HMS Bulwark in the region, carrying out rescue missions – could also play a role in any naval strikes against the smugglers.
Home Secretary Theresa May has said that Europe must use the ‘military, intelligence and crime-fighting assets’ at its disposal to crush the gangs.
Source: Daily Mail