Libya UK operations cost £250m so far – sources

The cost of UK military operations in Libya has cost £250 million so far, government sources say.Details are expected to be announced in a written ministerial statement on Thursday.Last week, Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander said it could run “into the hundreds of millions” of pounds.The UK has been contributing to Nato’s operation in Libya to enforce a no-fly zone since 19 March. The government had said it would cost tens of millions.When military strikes against Col Muammar Gaddafi’s forces began, Chancellor George Osborne estimated that the cost of British involvement would be “in the order of tens of millions of pounds, not hundreds of millions”.The Ministry of Defence will set out the most recent financial situation in the Commons.Pressed by shadow chancellor Ed Balls about the issue of costs during Treasury questions in the Commons on Tuesday, Mr Osborne said the cost was being met by the Treasury special reserve and was “very much lower than the ongoing operation in Afghanistan”.The government has clashed with military leaders recently over military operations in Libya.Air Chief Marshal Sir Simon Bryant, the RAF’s second-in-command, said morale among personnel was “fragile” and their fighting spirit was being threatened by being over-worked.Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday that military leaders were “absolutely clear” the mission could be kept going for as long as necessary. – BBC