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. tODD

    rich-You are a blow hard ! I reported your abuse of coments

    March 24, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. regertz

    So do I understand it right? The Turks were miffed that the US wasn't giving up control fast enough?

    Lets not keep these wonderful people waiting.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dwayne Herbert Alizondo Mountain Dew Comacho

    @rich: are you stupid? They all lie. You're just figuring that out? Welcome to the freak show buddy. The US has wanted Gadhafi out for years. He harbored terrorists not repelled them. Sorry the wool has just been removed from your eyes. Buy a gun. The 2 party system is a sham. Have a nice day. I actually support Obama on this one.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • rich


      March 24, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. king

    @ Rich
    It's clear that you haven't spent much time actually researching anything regarding this conflict as you can't even spell Gaddafi correctly...I realize this is only one name, but when that name is the reason why we are in Libya you should know how to spell it. Read a little bit, listen a little bit, and maybe you can educate yourself on the current events going on. Until then please refrain from posting your uneducated garbage...

    March 24, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • rich


      March 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Puppet Master

    America! F___ Yeah! Comin again to save the mutha fughin day yeah! This is a game preserve and we're the game.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Janey Y

    Obama just schooled Bush and Republicans. Started and ended the war with zero troops killed and trillions of dollars saved. Republicans heads are spinning so fast that they are hiding under the table trying to figure out their next story. Cue Newt Gingrich. 🙂 This is what happens when you have a smart President running the country.

    Proud to have a smart President.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • rich


      March 24, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • KB

      Why don't you just run up a banner saying "VICTORY"? The timing is perfect.

      March 24, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • f

      Barry has no idea what just happened. He planned on "winning" the war and looking like the hero. Now NATO steals the show and will be the "winner" when its all over. Our NATO allies/friends will get all the low-cost oil they need. They already get it from Libya and they pay 2x or 3x what we pay for gas. NATO 1, Obama 0.

      March 24, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • sine

      At least someone gets it --Obama is so smart he knows how to maneuver our national interest and get the worlds backing. These republicans are so John Wayne they don't know what a well thought out plan looks like if it it shot them in the butt.

      March 24, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texashammer

      Thank you for that comment.

      March 24, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Dude, Dont you pay attention, We have took all Ghaddafis money, Almost 100 billion, I think we can handle the payment of some rockets you noob!

      March 24, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony


      ...what? You should really read up on what happened here.

      March 24, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sanja

    60% americans supports aggression against Libya, this data tells us that the retarded idiots and donkeys
    They do not see further than CNN, BBC ...

    us in Serbia is well known that aggression, killed many children and civilians in favor of the Albanian mafia and Terorists

    Who supports Gaddafi go on this link!/pages/Support-for-Muammar-al-Gaddafi-from-the-people-of-Serbia/143360419060
    Together we are stronger!!!

    This is an opportunity to Serbian evidence injustice-1999

    We will never forgive America and NATO!!!!!!

    March 24, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Permit

      Buddy you live in Serbia, obviously no one cares what you think. Go collect sticks and bark or whatever it is you guys do for fun over there.

      March 24, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • JanafromCanada

      Get over it! Find a hobby, what a sad life u lead!

      March 24, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tijana

      Cao , Sanja ! I live in Serbia , too , In NS , I must tell u something – SHUT THE F ... UP !!!

      March 26, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Axel

    Welcome to the jungle we got fun and games. You can have anything you want but you better not take nothin from me.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jt_flyer

    Didnt Gaddafi say, soon after Obama's election, that Obama should be elected president of the US for life?!?

    March 24, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Gaile McLean

    US say not in communications with the rebels. They are liars as Hilary has been meeting with them for weeks and how in the hell do you arm them without communicating with them

    March 24, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gaile McLean

    Wow what a sick country America is

    March 24, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Shellz

      what are you talking about?

      March 24, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • glennrobert

      Actually we are alive and well and taking care of our interests in the world!

      March 24, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sanja

    america+nato=devil america+nato=devil america+nato=devil america+nato=devil america+nato=devil america+nato=devil
    america+nato=devil america+nato=devil america+nato=devil america+nato=devil america+nato=devil america+nato=devil
    america+nato=devil america+nato=devil america+nato=devil america+nato=devil america+nato=devil america+nato=devil
    america+nato=devil america+nato=devil america+nato=devil america+nato=devil america+nato=devil america+nato=devil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 24, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • zach

      great! now instead of havin guns and rocket launchers the terrorists are sittin behind a computer! this war on terrorism is gettin easier and easier...

      March 25, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Martas

      Truetruetrue... Killersthiefs vs killersthiefs

      March 26, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  13. thinktank1

    The major talk here seems to be protecting civilians. What about protecting oil? The west and USA claim that they are in Libya to stop the civilian population from being massacred by Ghadaffi. They expect us to swallow that. A few years back, the same people stood aside and watched how more than a million civilians were slaughtered in Rwanda; they claimed they could not intervene because it was an internal affair. Of course, they will tell us as usual " the situation is different" and they are right, but what they aren't saying is that Rwanda had no oil. We are all certain about how all these will end :a change of regime. It happened in Iraq, then Afghanistan, and it will happen in Libya. It is then clear to any rational thinker, that the UN has seized from being the peace keeper (and i doubt if it ever did), to a well organized coup plotter. If we want peace, we should not make a mockery of other people's brains.

    March 24, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mobius007

    The world may be a "game preserve", but it is also becoming "resource poor". Food scarcity and high food prices lead to the recent Middle East turmoil, and Libya has reserves of a specific commodity that the world needs right now. So, the UN/NATO involvement in Libya is a simple "resource war", initiated at a time of opportunity. This type of military conflict will become increasingly common this century, as resources dwindle and human population approaches 10 billion.

    March 24, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. rich

    $100 million per day cost! U.S. Servicmen's life at risk! Unilateral decision by Obama to attack a sovereign nation, unprovoked! Obama said in his Presidential campaign that the President had no right to commit our military in a situation that was not an imminent threat to the security of the U.S.! Libya had taken an anti Al-Quaida stance! Why are we attacking a country aligned with us against Al-Qaida?
    Why is okay to attack Libya to protect civilians, while at the same time it okay for Iran, Bahrain, Syria, Sudan, etc. governments to kill their citizens? Are we going to attack them? I think not! This was just an easy situation for Obama to attack a country in civil war, with 20-30 year old weapons in their possession! Obama thought this would be an easy mark and make a name for himself as a defender of the weak!
    So when will we attack Syria, Iran, Bahrain, Sudan, etc.? NO TIME REAL SOON I BET!
    THIS IS OBAMA"S WAR at U.S. taxpayer's expense!

    March 24, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • seeallpoints

      Are you saying you want to invade all those countries?

      March 24, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • glennrobert

      My you are confused! The presidents authority was greatly expanded under George W. who did as he pleased. Since this not a declared war congress can do little but complain which they are going to do anyhow!

      March 24, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • neolander

      It is what it is. You can run to the moon and cry so all will see you. Nothin changes the fact that since the incident between Gadhafi and America in the 1980s, its had been America's forieng policy to remove Gadhafi from office. It takes a monkey to catch a monkey, so that they had to set him up, pretend to be his friend, make him put all his asset in the west (more than $30 billion in the US alone) and now its time to go. Its all a game and I think Gadhafi is not sharp enough to play the games of world affairs. Plus it sucks to be him since his country got caught up in the present Arabian revolution and he has enemy that's been sseking to remove him from office. Rich you need to wake to the real picture and stop been enmeshed in sentiments.

      March 24, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
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