A destroyed tank belonging to forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is seen near a damaged hospital building in the west Libyan city of Misrata.

Russia on Sunday warned that NATO's campaign in Libya could turn into a land operation after attack helicopters were used for the first time against forces supporting embattled leader Moamer Kadhafi.

“When the UN resolution was taken, we thought that it was a good resolution in the way of preventing and stopping civilian casualties including closing down the Libyan airspace,” Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov told a security forum in Singapore.

“But first of all, we haven't agreed what closing down the airspace means... now (NATO is) using attack helicopters on land targets, which is in my view the last but one step before the land operation,” he said.

“And of course we didn't mean that when supporting the resolution.”

NATO deployed British and French attack helicopters against Kadhafi's forces on Saturday as part of the campaign to protect civilians in line with a UN resolution that barred using ground troops. - Sapa-AFP