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LIBYA: Arab states could impose a no-fly zone on Libya

The League of Arab States would not rule out imposing a no-fly zone on Libya in conjunction with the African Union if fighting in Libya failed to abate, Reuters news agency reported Wednesday.

“The Arab League will not stand with its hands tied while the blood of the brotherly Libyan people is spilt,” Reuters quoted Amr Moussa, secretary general for the organization commonly known as the Arab League, as saying.

The group, which promotes collaboration among Arab nations and works to protect their independence and sovereignty, has already suspended the membership of Moammar Kadafi’s government in protest of the Libyan leader’s crackdown on protesters who want Kadafi to cede power and step down, Reuters said.

Imposition of a no-fly zone is viewed by many as the only way to cripple Kadafi’s ability to use air power to crush his opponents, who are said to have far fewer weapons and defense capabilities than government forces.

On Wednesday, CNN reported that its news crew witnessed Libyan aircraft drop two bombs in the area of Port Brega, an eastern town that is home to a key oil facility.

“Later, a military aircraft dropped a third bomb,” the television news channel reported. “People on the ground shot and threw whatever they could at the aircraft, then fled.”

It was not clear whether there were any casualties from the bombing, CNN said.

Some comments posted on Twitter and other social network sites expressed hope that the aerial assault might ratchet up enthusiasm for an internationally imposed no-fly zone.

Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said earlier this week that the international body was “looking at all options,” including the imposition of a no-fly zone.

While Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has described the no-fly zone option as “an extraordinarily complex operation," as reported by CNN, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was keen to give Libyans “the tools to prevent the slaughter of innocents on Libyan streets."

"I believe that the global community cannot be on the sidelines while airplanes are allowed to bomb and strafe,” CNN quoted Kerry as saying. “A no-fly zone is not a long-term proposition, assuming the outcome is what all desire, and I believe that we ought to be ready to implement it as necessary.”

The U.N. has already approved the imposition of sanctions on Libya, authorizing an arms embargo and asset freeze against Kadafi’s regime.

-- Ann M. Simmons

Comments () | Archives (2)

Chavez and Amr Moussa are nothing more than the puppets. Chavez himself is a semi-dictator and Amr Moussa has worked for Mubarak and is still working for several other kings, dictators and Sultans. Both have penny value and cannot be considered as honest brokers.The best way out is to give few days ultimatum to Gaddhafi and several remaining autocrats to quickly accept the people verdict that include democratic Constitution, free and fair election and handing over the power to the elected leaders, nothing less.

I'd like to see the Arab League act on Libya. every time my country gets involved there are understandable complications; I wouldn't be opposed to my country doing back up support of the Arab League. We, as you know are in a soft recovery and already helping to structure and rebuild two countries in this area--to over-extend could have a lasting impact on future contributions to global security as well as eventually anger many groups in the area. that said I am extremely distressed by peaceful protestors and ordinary Libyan citicens coming under attack. President Mubarek--who was getting ready for retirement anyway did the sensible thing and allowed his people to go forward. It appears possible mental illness is a factor in the Libyan regime, and as such there should be an accounting for the Col. gadhafi's stability and ability to make wise decisions that is on par with any other person's removal from society or temporary removal from their home for treatment and evaluation. If it was a young man firing shots in a school yard, he would be confined..preferably in a swift manner before public deaths. How you would do this I do not know, yet under any medical examination it might be pointed out that he may have been exposed to some type of coccidius toxin that is imaparing his behavior and judgement. After being admitted to a medical fascility, he can be assessed to determine if he is able to stand trial later for war crimes, likewise those under his influence. i do not believe this is good for the Arab States. ap peaceful and swift resolution that allows for rebuilding Libya similar to Egyptian standards will best benifit ALL in the region. The leading Arab States or State will come across as heroes in this initiative--which will position them better for a future re-structured Middle East.


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