5PM LIBYA LATEST: Marham Tornados poised to carry on bombing raids until civilians are safe

The campaign against Colonel Gaddafi's military forces will continue until civilians are 'safe and secure from attack', it has emerged.

Prime Minister David Cameron said an EU summit today also agreed military action should continue until UN Security Council Resolution 1973 is 'properly implemented'.

This could see Tornados from RAF Marham carrying out bombing raids to the North African country from southern Italy for weeks or even months to come.

British forces have so far carried out 70 sorties against Col Gaddafi's troops, including striking at tanks on the ground, Mr Cameron told journalists in Brussels.

He also said the coalition had been right to act 'quickly and decisively' but the situation remained 'grave' in Misurata and Zintan.

He added: 'I want to thank all of those involved for their incredible skill and bravery.'

Mr Cameron's comments come after a Tornado from RAF Marham undertook a co-ordinated missile strike against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's military forces last night.

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Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: 'The Tornado aircraft launched a number of guided Brimstone missiles at Libyan armoured vehicles which were threatening the civilian population of Ajdabiya.'

He added: 'Brimstone is a high precision, low collateral damage weapon optimised against demanding and mobile targets.'

RAF Marham's role in the latest wave of action also comes as NATO decided to assume responsibility for operating the no-fly zone over Libya.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement: 'All NATO allies are committed to fulfill their obligations under the UN resolution. That is why we have decided to assume responsibility for the no-fly zone.'

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has also announced that they will become the second Arab state, after Qatar, to send warplanes to contribute to the no-fly zone operation.

A spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron said: 'The decisions by NATO and by the UAE demonstrate the strength and breadth of the coalition involved in protecting the people of Libya.'