Skip to main content

United Nations
In what one tweeter said probably set off the biggest celebration yet in Benghazi, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution Thursday evening calling for a "no-fly zone" in Libya. The action has been urged by some Libyan rebels, the Arab League, Britain, France, and others:
British, French and US military aircraft are preparing to protect the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi after the United Nations security council voted in favour of a no-fly zone and air strikes against Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

With Gaddafi's troops closing in on Benghazi, the French prime minister, Francois Fillon, said "time is of the essence" and that France would support military action set to take place within hours.

Jets could take off from French military bases along the Mediterranean coast, about 750 miles from Libya. Several Arab countries would join the operation.

The 15-member security council voted in favour of a resolution authorising "all necessary measures short of an occupation force" to protect civilians. Ten countries including Britain, the US and France, supported the resolution, none opposed it and five, including Russia, China and Germany, abstained.

The finalising of military preparations came as Gaddafi's defence ministry issued a strong warning in a statement broadcast on Libyan television: "Any foreign military act against Libya will expose all air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea to danger, and civilian and military [facilities] will become targets of Libya's counterattack. The Mediterranean basin will face danger not just in the short-term, but also in the long-term."

After a couple of weeks of wanting to see others take the lead, the United States shifted into a higher gear on the no-fly zone after a vote by the Arab League on Saturday approved the idea in a 9-2 vote. The fear, not without reason, was that any action undertaken with the United States in the lead would be very unpopular in the Arab world and among Muslims, in general.

Meanwhile, apparently invigorated by recent successes against the rebellion in several eastern Libyan cities:

“No more hesitation: The moment of truth has come," Qaddafi said. "There will be no mercy. Our troops will be coming to Benghazi tonight."

Qaddafi vowed his troops would search every Benghazi home and closet for weapons, and that his opponents could expect no quarter. His claim of an impending assault on Benghazi drew jeers and derision from residents. His troops remain 90 miles away, assaulting the town of Ajdabiya, where their surge east has stalled in the past few days.

“If the international community just gives us a little help – stop his planes, some weapons – we’ll destroy him,” says Hamdi al-Jamal, a student who says his whole family will fight if Qaddafi nears the city.

The endgame begins.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 04:08 PM PDT.

Also republished by Foreign Relations.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site