Hampshire & Isle of Wight

HMS Westminster returns to Portsmouth from Libya

HMS Westminster returns to port
Image caption HMS Westminster is returning to the naval base for maintenance work

A Royal Navy warship has returned to Portsmouth Naval Base after carrying out operations in Libya.

HMS Westminster was part of a humanitarian mission. This role changed to surveillance after the UN authorised military intervention in the country.

The Type 23 frigate left the UK in February and returned into Portsmouth at 0810 BST.

It is returning to the naval base for maintenance work before going back to sea, a navy spokesman said.

Commanding Officer Tim Green said the warship had acted as a deterrent in Libya.

"I am immensely proud of what we've achieved. We saw first-hand the Libyan regime's use of force against the population," he said.

"Our presence, along with other UK assets and coalition partners, was a genuine deterrent.

"There is no doubt our presence in the area has saved the lives of Libyan people."

An Army spokesman outlined the frigate's role in the situation.

"HMS Westminster was monitoring the activities of the Libyan armed forces and reporting back to the UK, providing evidence to support the negotiations at the UN," he said.

"Once the resolution was passed, Westminster patrolled off the coast of Benghazi ensuring that the Libyan navy could not use the maritime flank as a means to attack the population."

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