Pressure is telling on Gaddafi, says David Cameron

David Cameron insisted today that the time was right to "ratchet up" the pressure on Muammar Gaddafi as he confirmed that Apache attack helicopters were being deployed for the campaign against the Libyan leader.





MI6 has told David Cameron it has discovered that Gaddafi's behaviour is becoming even more erratic as Nato strikes take their toll.



He is said to be moving between hospitals in the Tripoli area nightly in an apparent bid to evade missiles - such as the ones which killed his youngest son last month.



Gaddafi has now not been seen in public since May 11, and his commanders have apparently stopped using telephones for fear of being overheard.



An inability to communicate is hampering their ability to fight, according to a senior UK diplomatic source, and there is also evidence of further defections from the military.



"There is a picture building up of a man who is paranoid and a regime that is feeling the pressure and beginning to fracture," the source said. "He is on the run."



The intelligence is understood to have persuaded the Prime Minister that the time is right to "turn the screw".



Mr Cameron, Defence Secretary Liam Fox and military chiefs have agreed to put four Apache attack helicopters at the disposal of the Nato operation, alongside existing warplane deployments.



The deadly aircraft can carry out strikes at closer quarters, reducing the potential for collateral damage and allowing a wider range of targets to be taken on. They are expected to be used against Gaddafi's troops in built-up areas of Misrata.



The Apaches could begin operating from HMS Ocean, which is in the Mediterranean, almost immediately.



Earlier, Mr Cameron and French president Nicolas Sarkozy discussed the situation at the G8 summit in France, with both leaders agreeing that the pressure on Gaddafi must be increased.



Mr Sarkozy has already authorised the use of 12 French attack helicopters, flying from the amphibious assault ship Le Tonnerre.



Meanwhile, RAF jets have attacked a military vehicle depot in the Libyan desert.



The Chief of Defence Staff's spokesman, Major General John Lorimer, disclosed the strike as he gave details of recent operations.



"A major target for the Royal Air Force contingent was the large military vehicle depot at Tiji in the west of Libya, which has been supporting regime attacks on the civilian population in the Djebel Nafousa region, south west of Tripoli," he said.



"Tornado and Typhoon aircraft, accompanied by other Nato aircraft, used Paveway guided bombs to attack multiple targets within the depot, causing very extensive damage."



As the conflict continued, at least five explosions were heard in Tripoli from Nato air strikes yesterday.



The targets were not not immediately identified, but smoke was seen rising from the area of Gaddafi's compound.



Meanwhile, Libya's government has pushed for a ceasefire, saying for the first time it is prepared to talk to the rebels.



But officials insisted Gaddafi would not relinquish power.



Prime minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi told reporters he was willing to hold talks with "all Libyans", including members of the rebel administration based in the eastern city of Benghazi.



But he said Gaddafi "is in the heart of every Libyan".



"If he leaves, the entire Libyan people leave," he added.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Customers look at the new iPhones on display at the launch of the new Apple iPhone 6 and iphone 6 plus at the Apple IFC store in Hong Kong
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Sport
Andros Townsend is challenged by Vladimir Volkov
football
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN Teachers and Support Staff

£50 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an SEN Teacher or L...

English and Media Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: English & Media Teacher - ...

Y1 Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Y1 Teacher required for a So...

Senior Financial Services Associate - City

Highly Competitive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - FINANCIAL SERVICES - Senior...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week