UK is planning to deploy Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon fighter jets to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya to protect its people from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

The fighter fleet will be based in RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to enforce the exclusion zone, as two VC10 tanker aircraft in Cyprus are offering support to evacuate civilians from Libya.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said the UK action would involve RAF patrols over the country.

“It is … one thing we have to plan for and work out how we would do it with allies and partners if it became necessary and if it had the necessary international support,” Hague told Sky News.

The UK Ministry of Defence is discussing plans to leave the VC10s there to assist the multirole combat aircraft fleet.

France and the US are reportedly in favour of the Libya no-fly zone, while Russia said countries should focus on implementing sanctions.

A no-fly zone is one of a number of alternatives being discussed by the UK MoD.