It came in from the sea, somewhere to the north. At first the residents of Benghazi cheered, believing it would herald the start of air strikes against Gaddafi forces still rumbling towards their city. “Is it European,” shouted one. Then it swung back around the city, describing, a high, slow circle even as artillery shells pounded the outskirts of the city. If it was a Mirage then maybe it was one of Gaddafi’s last
It’s next run would have been more deadly, as it roared back across the city, this time flying low and straight – the very definition of intent – as anti-aircraft guns roared along its western path.
All week we have seen the guns firing more with hope than any real skill. Many have no sights, the gunners relying on Allah and beginners’ luck.
Not this time. A flash illuminated the jet, somewhere near its tail. The flash grew to a flame as an explosion ripped through the plane, stopping it as if caught by an invisible hand rather than anti-aircraft fire. Slowly the plane sycamoured towards the ground where it exploding in another, bigger fireball.
The no-fly zone might be meaningless until the French and British are able to get their jets in the air. And Gaddafi might be racing for Benghazi to beat the strikes. But these rebels still have plenty of fight.
There are now tanks in the streets. getting out