Libya live blog: NATO will enforce no-fly zone over Libya, secretary general says
Libyan rebels escort marchers in the streets of Benghazi on March 23 to show their support for a no-fly zone.
March 24th, 2011
07:52 PM ET

Libya live blog: NATO will enforce no-fly zone over Libya, secretary general says

The latest developments on the situation in Libya, where coalition forces launched a series of coordinated airstrikes on Saturday after they were convinced Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was not adhering to a cease-fire mandated by the United Nations. Read our complete story and check out our full coverage on unrest in the Arab world. Also, don't miss a gripping, high-resolution gallery of images from Libya.

[7:52 p.m. ET Thursday, 1:52 a.m. Friday in Libya] White House Press Secretary Jay Carney issued a statement Thursday welcoming the "important contribution by the United Arab Emirates to the enforcement of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 in Libya," referring to the UAE's announcement that it will contribute 12 military aircraft to the operation. He added: "This critical participation by the UAE further underscores the broad, international support for the protection of the Libyan people."

[7:13 p.m. ET Thursday, 1:13 a.m. Friday in Libya] All 28 NATO allies have authorized military authorities to develop a plan for NATO to take on the broader mission of civilian protection under U.N. Resolution 1973, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday. Clinton said she will travel to London to attend an international meeting on Libya on Tuesday.

[7:04 p.m. ET Thursday, 1:04 a.m. Friday in Libya] The international coalition is in control of the skies above Libya and humanitarian relief is beginning to reach people who need it, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday.

The number of U.S. planes being used has decreased significantly while the number of non-U.S. planes has increased, she said. Troops have pushed back Gadhafi's forces but they remain "a serious threat to the safety of the people," Clinton said.

[6:45 p.m. ET Thursday, 12:45 a.m. Friday in Libya] Command of enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya is expected to be handed over to NATO by Sunday night, NATO sources told CNN Thursday.

[6:20 p.m. ET Thursday, 12:08 a.m. Friday in Libya] NATO has reached an agreement to take over the no-fly zone in Libya from the United States "in a couple of days," NATO's secretary general said Thursday.

"NATO has now decided to enforce the no-fly zone over Libya. We're taking action as part of the broad international effort to protect civilians," Anders Fogh Rasmussen told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "We will cooperate closely with our partners in the region and welcome their contributions."

NATO is considering enforcing a wide range of measures called for by the U.N. Security Council resolution on Libya, including the protection of civilians from Gadhafi's ground forces, Rasmussen said.

Military authorities will decided which country will take the initial lead using the "already established chain of command," Rasmussen said.

[5:35 p.m. ET Thursday, 11:35 p.m. Thursday in Libya] The United Arab Emirates says it is committing planes and humanitarian effort in support of the U.N. resolution regarding Libya.

"In support of UN resolution 1973 The UAE is fully engaged with humanitarian operations in Libya. As an extension of those humanitarian operations the UAE Air Force has committed six F-16 and six Mirage aircraft to participate in the patrols that will enforce the No Fly Zone now established over Libya. UAE Participation in the patrols will commence in the coming days."

[5:29 p.m. ET Thursday, 11:29 p.m. Thursday in Libya] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen, and DNI James Clapper will brief members of Congress next Wednesday on the situation in Libya, according to Speaker John Boehner's office. It will be a classified briefing.

[5:00 p.m. ET Thursday, 11:00 p.m. Thursday in Belgium] At the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he sees no signs of a cease-fire by Libyan government authorities. Ban told council members, "to the contrary, fierce battles continue in and around the cities of" Ajdabiya, Misrata and Zinan. Ban gave his briefing, as required by U.N. Resolution 1973, seven days after that resolution was passed by 10 votes and five abstentions.

[4:39 p.m. ET Thursday, 9:39 p.m. Thursday in Belgium] A tentative agreement for NATO to take over operations in Libya may be in jeopardy, CNN's Paula Newton reports. The Turkish delegation is not happy with the timing of the transition and wants the United States to give up command sooner than previously agreed upon. If a consensus is not reached in the next 20 to 25 minutes, talks will stop for the evening and resume tomorrow.

[4:23 p.m. ET Thursday, 10:23 p.m. Thursday in Libya] Airstrikes were carried out Thursday near Tripoli, Misrata and Ajdabiya, a Pentagon spokesman said. "The only civilian casualties we know are for certain are the ones that the Libyan government itself has caused," U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Bill Gortney said. In response to a question, he further said the U.S. military was not communicating with Libyan opposition forces.

[3:31 p.m. ET Thursday, 9:31 p.m. Thursday in Libya] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen and National Intelligence Director James Clapper will brief members of Congress on Libya on March 30, a Republican source said. The briefing will be classified, the source said.

[3:29 p.m. ET Thursday, 9:29 p.m. Thursday in Libya] A CNN team on the ground has reported hearing explosions and anti-aircraft fire in Tripoli.

[3:21 p.m. ET Thursday, 9:21 p.m. Thursday in Libya] U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said during a Security Council briefing that he sees no signs of a cease-fire by Libyan government authorities. Ban told council members that "fierce battles continue in and around the cities of" Ajdabiya, Misrata and Zinan. He added that his envoy to Libya told Libyan authorities that if the government did not comply with the cease-fire resolution, "the Security Council was prepared to take additional measures."

[3:10 p.m. ET Thursday, 9:10 p.m. Thursday in Libya] A deal has been reached for NATO to take command of the military mission in Libya in the coming days, two diplomatic officials said. The deal was reached after a conference call between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her counterparts from Britain, France and Turkey.

[2:42 p.m. ET Thursday, 8:42 p.m. Thursday in Libya] A doctor told CNN that 109 people have been killed and more than 1,300 wounded in the western Libyan city of Misrata over the past week.

[1:45 p.m. ET Thursday, 7:45 p.m. Thursday in Libya] The Libyan mission is a "time-limited, scope-limited" military action to protect civilians in Libya, White House spokesman Jay Carney said. "It is certainly not a large-scale, open-ended military action," he added, emphasizing that no ground troops or military invasion were involved. Asked earlier about criticism over President Barack Obama's consultations with Congress on the mission, Carney said the president "believes that he is the commander in chief and leadership requires him to take action where action will save lives." Carney cited a series of meetings, hearings and briefings by top administration officials, including Obama, with members of Congress. Had Obama not acted on Libya, Carney said, Moammar Gadhafi would control the rebel stronghold of Benghazi and large numbers of people would have been killed.

[1:04 p.m. ET Thursday, 7:04 p.m. Thursday in Libya] The United States still expects to hand over control of the Libya military mission within "days, not weeks," White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday.

[12:34 p.m. ET Thursday, 6:43 p.m. Thursday in Libya] French jets fired on a Libyan combat aircraft Thursday as it was landing at a military airfield in the western city of Misrata, the French Defense Ministry said. The Libyan plane was in violation of the no-fly zone, the ministry said. You can follow CNN's full coverage of the incident here.

[7:33 a.m. ET Thursday, 1:33 p.m. Thursday in Libya] A Misrata resident told CNN he heard a single large explosion within the past hour and pro-Gadhafi snipers were operating in the city, Otherwise Misrata was quiet Thursday, he said. He claimed that rebels remained in control of the port.  The resident also said there had been airstrikes on the outskirts of Misrata Wednesday night.

[7:28 a.m. ET Thursday, 1:28 p.m. Thursday in Libya] At least 30 French aircraft were engaged over Libya in the past 24 hours, the French Defense Ministry said.

[5:44 a.m. ET Thursday, 11:44 a.m. Thursday in Libya] Libyan state television showed footage of what they said were the charred bodies of 18 civilians and military officials killed in a coalition attack in Tajura. Leaders with the coalition forces have in the past refuted Libyan reports that civilians were killed by airstrikes. "It is not likely that civilians were a part of any airstrike today," said Joint Task Force Operation Odyssey Dawn Lt. Cmdr. Jim Hoeft.

[2:20 a.m. ET Thursday, 8:20 a.m. Thursday in Libya] The coalition air effort to halt the Libyan government's attacks on civilians continued into Thursday for a sixth day, with an airstrike in the Tripoli suburb of Tajura, a government official said.

After enduring five days of air strikes by coalition forces, Libyan government troops retain the upper hand. Government forces' move on Benghazi has been reversed, but attacks on Misrata and Ajdabiya continue. One witness said personnel in the main hospital were "paralyzed with fear."

Meanwhile, the Libyan government reported that military and civilian locations in Tripoli neighborhoods were struck. A U.S. official calls that assertion "unlikely" and says coalition forces have been using "all necessary measures" to protect civilians.

Members of Moammar Gadhafi's inner circle are contacting the United States and Arab states, but have been unclear about their intentions, senior U.S. officials said.

However, the officials said that none of Gadhafi's inner circle have indicated Gadhafi was ready to leave, nor have any of them suggested they are ready to abandon Gadhafi, CNN's Elise Labott reported.

They are indeed reaching out, but it's not clear to what end," one senior official said. "It's not clear what's the purpose of all these calls."

House Speaker John Boehner has written a letter to President Barack Obama complaining of "limited, sometimes contradictory" information so far on the U.S.-led military mission in Libya and asked for the president to provide "a clear and robust assessment."

Boehner, R-Ohio, wrote that he and other House members were troubled that the president committed U.S. military resources to war "without clearly defining for the American people, the Congress and our troops what the mission in Libya is and what America's role is in achieving that mission," CNN's Deirdre Walsh reports.

soundoff (373 Responses)
  1. Bill

    After almost 12 years of no fly zone in Iraq, we went to war. what will prevent us from going to war in Libya????

    March 24, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dwayne Herbert Alizondo Mountain Dew Comacho

    @Kingston: Wrong. We haven't used any of our new weapons over there. Tomahawks, F15, and F16s are the stuff we can do the job with and not hurt the bank. This engagement was about innocent protesters being gunned down, the world crying for action, action being taken, and now more crying over the action being taken. Nothing more nothing less.

    March 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sam

    America, France and UK get the hell out of foreign nation (Libya). Your motive of going to libyan conflict is one main reason and that is OIL researve Qaddafi and his country is sit on. Where is the real democracy in America, France and UK? Why you don't go to ivory coast? What about the french police brutality to African immigrant living in paris? Did anyone see the video in or other website? W

    March 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. us sucks

    obama must die.
    sarkozy must hang
    cameron must frie.
    ............../´¯/)........... (\¯`\
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    ...../´¯/..../´¯\.........../¯ `\....\¯`\
    .././.../..../..../.|_......_| .\....\....\...\.\..
    (.(....(....(..../.)..)..(..(. \....)....)....).)
    .\................\/.../....\. ..\/................/
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    ....\..............(.......... ..)............../
    ......\.............\......... ../...............

    March 24, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      And its idiots like this guy why countries go to war in the first place. If there were an entire country filled with people like you, I'd send over a few cruise missiles myself. I'd rather eradicate hate to preserve the common peace, then to let you spew anymore of your venom into the world.
      A righteous hand do away with a wretched mind, and this idiot is lucky he can hise behind a computer screen.

      March 24, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • stylo might

      hey US sucks, it is not only those 3 countris leaders backing an UN resoulion another despot dictator spat on so fuhq yoo two...

      March 24, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • neolander

      that's quite artistic

      March 24, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tom

    Just a matter of time before US troops go into the area

    March 24, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. AZLib

    Why is CNN showing a funeral for the Nutcase leaders supporters. CNN Ceo admited that he provided propaganda coverage to support the run up to war with Iraq (in support of his GOP commerical backers of course). Now they seem to want to toss stones or cause issues for the current president. This is what happens when we only have commerical sponsored news. Gadafi and his nut cases brought down PAM Am flight 103 along with other terroriist activities. He machine guns his own people when they complain. Should this be allowed to happen then other Arab nut cases will use the same tatic .... Or they can be like Israel and lock everybody in to poverty Ghettos who doesnt agree with the government. I am proud of our president for taking a stand to protect these freedom fighters. let the stars and strips fight for a good cause in this case bringing democracy to Libya and hopefully other arab states. Yes it is costing a few bucks, but it isn't even a rounding error compared to the worthless and unfounded war in Iraq or the drawn out nothing in Afganistan and sure not a drop in the bucket compared to the $6billion a year we send to Isreal to enslave the PA. Why not show the crying parents of the freedom fighters? Why not show what happens to freedom fighters run over by tanks from a repressvie government? Come on CNN try harder to support a just cause.

    March 24, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    The U.S. is encouraging the rebels and telling them to attack the military of the recognized government of Libya. I am no fan of the current government but put it in perspective. If rebels attacked Washington, D.C. would you want the United Nations to back the rebels to expel our elected officials. Simply not liking the current government is not enough to bomb them. Yes, protect innocent citizens. However, the rebels have put civilians at risk too and this is overlooked by the media. Want change, then seek it through peaceful measures. The U.S. does not have a good record of overthrowing governments and having a more stable government in power. How many examples do we need?

    March 24, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike B

      Well put why is it the reasonable thinkers can see both sides and the fanatics the world over only see their side or what they are told.

      March 24, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • neolander

      mind you the rebels started a peacful demosntration then Gadhafi attacked them with weapons. Gte you facts right before you post please

      March 24, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • stylo might

      @ Mike, I'll give one, Noriega, Panama and using DC being overthrown by rebels? Get fuhqing real man! Where as this chit ever taken place in a democratised nation should be the question?

      March 24, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sam

    western power called so called biase UN resoultion 1973 against Libyan governement humanitarian intervention. it is flawed resoultion because how can that resolution allow US,FRANCE and UK to arm those rebel and encouraging to advance their assualt while protecting them but killing the other side. what kind of resolution is that? And yet you west OIL digger so called Allied campaign called it humanitarian mission in libya. I wish Allah cause 20.9 megatude earthquake so that we all crash and the go back to Allah. THERE IS NO TRUTH IN THIS WORLD.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Michael

    What's the diiference ? NATO instead USA ? Same content different package

    March 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • neolander

      hahaha just like pizza from papajohns and dominos

      March 24, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dwayne Herbert Alizondo Mountain Dew Comacho

    @Mike: We did ok in WW1, WW2, Korea, Iraq seems much more promising, Afghanistan is 50/50. People a couple weeks ago were begging the US to help, now they're calling us imperialists again.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dwayne Herbert Alizondo Mountain Dew Comacho

    @Mike: The difference between Libya and US is you can protest here without gunships being sicked on you. Even Nazis can hold hate rallies without repercussions.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. us sucks

    CIA’s Libya Rebels Are Younger Brothers of al Qaeda Suicide Bombers who Killed US, NATO Soldiers in Iraq

    The CIA’s Libya Rebels: The Same Terrorists who Killed US, NATO Troops in Iraq

    2007 West Point Study Shows Benghazi-Darnah-Tobruk Area was a World Leader in Al Qaeda Suicide Bomber Recruitment

    March 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Worldpeaceful

    The leaders in the world should be act right away. The mission of UN is very clear : No fight zone and protect civilians with any necessary. If you don't disarm Gadhafi regime murders how you are going to protect them? Ground group is also legal too. It is legal for second statement of mission = any necessary.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Gerry Green


    March 24, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • stylo might

      If your thinking Korea all those years ago then you forgot about Yugoslavia.

      March 24, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. The Sniper from Saving Private Ryan

    Just put me, and this here sniper rifle, anywhere and up one mile of Omar Ghadaffi, with a clear line of sight. Pack your bag fellahs, the war's over.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
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