British Apache helicopters have been used against Colonel Gadaffi’s forces in Libya for the first time.
A naval source told the BBC that they attacked two military installations, a radar site and an armed checkpoint near Brega.
The decision to use the Apaches was taken several days ago by British Prime Minister David Cameron.
On Wednesday Nato extended its mission in Libya for another 90 days.
Both developments are a boost to rebels and should cut down on accidental civilian casualties in operations previously carried out by Tornado jets and Typhoons.