Libya developments: NATO agrees in principle to protect civilians
Libyan rebels pray while preparing for battle against government forces near the city of Ajdabiya.
March 25th, 2011
06:34 PM ET

Libya developments: NATO agrees in principle to protect civilians

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.

[6:33 p.m. ET Friday, 12:33 a.m. Saturday in Libya] President Obama will speak to the nation about Libya on Monday evening from the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., the White House announced.

[4:18 p.m. ET Friday, 10:18 p.m. Friday in Libya] NATO has agreed in principle to protect Libyan civilians and will work out details this weekend, said Gen. Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command.

Ham, who is overseeing U.S. military involvement in the Libyan mission, said the biggest challenge in going after Moammar Gadhafi's troops and snipers is when they are in close proximity to civilians.

He also said that removing Gadhafi by military means is not the aim of the mission.

[1:10 p.m. ET Friday, 7:10 p.m. Friday in Libya] Canadian Lt. Gen. Charlie Bouchard will command the NATO military campaign over Libya, CNN has confirmed.

[11:45 a.m. ET Friday, 5:45 p.m. Friday in Libya] British Tornado fighter jets identified Libyan tanks with their weapons pointed north toward the eastern Libyan city of Ajdabiya and destroyed them, Air Vice Marshall Phil Osborne said Friday.

[10:00 a.m. ET Friday, 4:00 p.m. Friday in Libya] The Libyan delegation attending an African Union meeting in Ethiopia said Friday that Libya is committed to a cease-fire and is ready to let the African Union monitor the cease-fire.

"We demand the cessation of the air bombardment and the naval blockade carried out by Western forces and the United States, for the invalidity of its argument to protect civilians since it is killing them by the hundreds and is attacking and destroying our armed forces, and paving the way for the other side to attack," said Mohammed al-Zwai, speaker of the Libyan People's Assembly.

[3:15 a.m. ET Friday, 7:15 a.m. Friday in Libya] The UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a statement Friday saying that the UAE air force will send 12 aircraft to help patrol and enforce the No Fly Zone in Libya, and that participation will start in the coming days.

Warplanes roared through the skies over the Libya capital, Tripoli, early Friday, dropping bombs on the outskirts of the city where military bases are located.

In Ajdabiya, about 430 miles (700 km) south-southeast of the capital, the British Ministry of Defense on Friday reported airstrikes on "Libyan armoured vehicles which were threatening the civilian population."

NATO members agreed to take over enforcement of the no-fly zone over Libya. Under the agreement, NATO forces will be able to close air space to all flights except for humanitarian ones and will be able to use force in self-defense.

That mandate is not being interpreted as a license to attack Libyan government troops who may be threatening unarmed civilians.

Michael Burns, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO, said he expects the defense alliance to take over command of the entire operation in a few days to keep pressure on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

"The no-flight zone alone can not protect the civilians of Libya," Burns said on CNN's "AC360" Thursday night "Gadhafi is still attacking ... He is still on the move in some places."

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Filed under: Libya • War • World
soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. bbarc

    For the Decision Makers:

    Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteous like the stars for ever and ever. Daniel 12:3

    March 25, 2011 at 4:31 am | Report abuse |
    • dan

      The book is neither lame or fiction try reading it or at least grow up enough to not attack people that do.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      Faith and religion are an anathema to spirituality and morality.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • RocketScientist

      Allah willing

      March 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • RufusVonDufus

      I truly feel sorry for the Canadian general taking over command of this fiasco. As soon as the slightest thing goes wrong he will be able to count on Obama making him the scapegoat. That is the problem with dealing with liberals like Obama. They have no qualms about making others take the blame.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gaucho420

      Faith and policits shouldn't mix. Keep your BS for your weekly sect meetings.

      March 25, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gaucho420

      Here we go, another religioius nut job quoting fables and BS from two or more millenias ago. Use your brain and get educated.

      March 25, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      @Gaucho420 – Are you an @ss all the time or, only when you are on a message board?

      March 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harold Trainer, USAF RET

      How does this intervention affect our fine American Christians who do not like Muslims or want their mosques built, like in Murfreesboro, better know as Stones River Tennessee? Do conservative Christians really support intervention in this Muslim world?

      March 25, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • algodoma

      For those about to rock:

      Ron: Well, I had one that I was playing Quidditch the other night. What do you think that means?
      Harry: Probably that you're going to be eaten by a giant marshmallow or something

      March 25, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |


    March 25, 2011 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. gambino

    I'm 100% unconvinced this no-fly-coalition will work. In fact, i think it's backfiring against the interests of the usa. The truth is it's more likely something about OIL, and a lot less likely about democracy. Why? Look at No.Korea, Pakistan, Afghanistan.Bahrain......heck, 6 Americans were injured in the Jerusalem blast, it took 1 1/2 days for the news to report it. Demonstrating the interests of the US is oil, not even the well being of US citizens. Even if they were probably JEWISH Americans. So much for the influence and power of the so called JEWISH lobby. Finally, Israel & Saudi are 'that' unconvinced about this m.e. democracy story, they've flown to moscow to meet and chat about their concerns! I'd say thats a 1st and sufficient evidence to say. US sponsored UN sanctioned Libya no-fly-coalition game is a ruse.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
    • regertz

      Confusing...But. Surely it would have been cheaper to let Gadhafi massacre the uprising and keep the oil flowing if this is "all about oil". At one point he was so desperate his boys were offering oil at bargain prices. Syria isn't the same as Libya...The violence is notably less and Assad, while a dictator, has not massacred on a large scale and has talked some modest reform. However Syria would be a possible target if things get worse since with Turkey in our camp and Israel, logistics is not the problem it is with say, Somalia or Sudan. In Syria's case, however the Arab League is unlikely to agree.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      Dictators kill and torture people all the time, and nobody including you give a $amn. The only difference between Libya and evey other dictator is that this killing is on TV.

      March 25, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mobius007

      Our involvement in Libya is certainly about the oil – there is no doubt about this fact. But, we are also in Libya to stabilize the region, which is on the verge of an explosion. Oil and gas have gone up 20% since the Libyan rebellion, and as the regional instability increases oil will continue to increase. Now, Saudi Arabia is experiencing protests.

      The question you need to ask yourselves is how much are you willing to pay for gasoline? Because, if the region experiences greater instability, oil could easily surpass $175/barrel which would place gasoline at around $7/gallon. This would certainly mean the end of the economic recovery, and would likely return the world to a recession.

      March 25, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • lynseypug

      The No-Fly Zone was established because Gadhafi was using his air force to massacre protesters. Of Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, Iran, North Korea, etc. etc., you tell me which regimes are using planes to bomb its citizens. If they aren't using this tactic, then it makes no sense to use a NFZ against them.

      March 25, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joseph Zrnchik, MAJ (Ret.)

    When Iraq illegally invaded Iran and killed 700,000 not only did the US not care, but it provided lethal aid to Saddam in the form of chemical weapons.

    Now Gadaffi kills a few thousand rebels and the US and NATO claim Libya must be invaded and Gaddafi stopped. This is the type of hypocrisy and lawlessness the American people are subject to each day by our elites.

    Day of Rage in Washington D.C. on 6/30/11

    To end criminal government and elite lawlessness

    March 25, 2011 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Gaucho420

      You're comparaing a war betweentwo countries to a massacre by a dictator on his own people. A massacre that isn't even a civil war, as Mercenaries have to be used by Kaddafi to get the job done. I'm glad you're retired, you're thinking isn't up to snuff.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      So, it"s completely OK to kill people on other countries?

      March 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mobius007

      The Iran/Iraq war occurred at a time when there was actually a global surplus of oil – it was pre-Asian renaissance. THERE IS NO LONGER ANY OIL SURPLUS, which is why we are in Libya. We are there to help stabilize the region, because the economies of the world will crumble without cheap plentiful oil. It's just that simple and justification enough for war or a no-fly zone.

      March 25, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • wayneer

      I agree 100%. kadafi had the rebels defeated oil would have flowed again prices stabilized. Now we are going to have a long drawn out affair which will actually strengthen Alcadas hand in the region. Most of these middle eastern countries are destabilized because of the world wide economic crisis that American bankers started!

      March 26, 2011 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. Edward

    Tribunal to the criminals of war like Obama-Clinton-Sarkozi and the others !!! The signal sent to the worl is quite clear: if you have oil, you have no democracy. Then, they will bomb you. 320,000 refugees is not a humanitarian catastroph for Clinton. Of course not. They will storm into Europe , not America.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
    • regertz

      That's terrible if Gadhafi created 320,000 refugees. I imagine the coalition will need to provide a lot of humanitarian aid...But the UAE is pretty wealthy.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smauger

      Edward – funny you left Bush off that list. Seems like he was the one responsible for IRAQ.... selective memory?

      March 25, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Justin

    Let us count how many people were killed due to American agressions and judge every American president for that. Because of American invasion in Iraq, more people died than in Hussain's time. Once USA was feeding talibans, and now they are chasing them. That will be the same story with Benghazi. For the information, islamic Benghazi exported people to fight Americans in Iraq. Caddafi was fighting against them. Where is the logic in EU-USA actions?

    March 25, 2011 at 5:10 am | Report abuse |
    • regertz

      There was a popullar uprising with many ordinary citizens joining in peaceful protest gradually becoming a major groundswell against the regime. The dictator used massively brutal force to try to crush it. The rebels took up arms and many government officials horrified at the slaughter unfolding joined the rebellion. The US and other nations hesitated but finally couldn't sit by any longer so despite the expected howls, the President organized an international coalition, got some Arab League support, and the UN sanctioned action. Actually this is the way it should work, though we need to see more international effort. If you're arguing oil, see above...Gadhafi would have given us cheap oil if we'd only held our noses and let him slaughter all his opponents. If you argue Bahrain...Ok, but less all-out violence and we have little access if Saudi Arabia refuses to let us go in...Do you want to fight your way through the holiest land in Islam? Sudan...The UN is there, logistically nightmarish. Somalia...We tried it, remember? No support meant no success and logistics was a problem. Ivory Coast...The UN is there...We should do more but logistics is a problem...No Italy nearby to provide a staging area and the African Union hasn't asked us. Zimbabwe...The African Union hasn't asked...South Africa doesn't seem willing.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tom Degan

    They are trying to make us believe that this incursion into Libya is to protect the people of that country. Yeah. I was born very early in the morning – but it wasn't this morning:

    Tom Degan

    March 25, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. Elizabeth

    The US needs to step back and let these countries have their revolutions. True change will not occur without it. This is what happened in our country, it needs to happen in theirs. I am not saying that we should not send humanitarian aid. I am saying that when it comes to military support, our country can no longer afford it. My fear is that while our military is assisting other countries, the US will be caught short here. Recall our military personnel to the US and protect our borders now, and let these countries affect change in the way all societies have.

    March 25, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • stejo

      Without the help of the French, we probably would still be colonies.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nodack

      Like the guy said, if not for the French getting involved in our revolution there would be no USA today.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mobius007

      Elizabeth – you're ignoring the fact the global economy is fragile at this time, and could easily be nudged back into a recession – or worse. What could be the catalyst for this economic downturn? Well, oil at $150 per barrel or greater is one obvious answer. Hence the reason we are in Libya – to ensure the flow of precious oil and to help stabilize the region. It's no more complicated than this.

      March 25, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Southi5

      And if it wasn't for us, they'd be speaking German.

      March 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • vulpine

      Uh didn't the Spanish step in and help us with our revolution? And for everyone else why would I attack a country for oil when we get none from them? Most of their oil goes to Europe. It wasn't Obama that organized this it was the French we just jumped on board. Finally, I'm military and we can handle it.

      March 25, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Idongesit Ubonabasi

    Please, the world should do everything humanly possible to stop one of the worse devil of our time (Gaddafi) from destroying the good people of Libya and bring him and his proteges to face the full weight of JUSTICE! Thank you.

    March 25, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dwayne Herbert Alizondo Mountain Dew Comacho

    Great now I forgot what I wanted to type after reading all your antiamerican propaganda. I'm now dumber after reading that drivel. FREE LIBYA!

    March 25, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • cput

      Woot! Woot!

      March 25, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • wagepeace

      FREE LIBYA///FREE AMERICA..... This time in history we are doing it the right,legal and just way!....wp

      March 25, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cesar r

    Dwayne: Hi. I warned you to shorten your name, but you didn't listen. You leave me no choice. I am hijacking part of your name-Herbert.

    March 25, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. betty

    I'm sick of Carol Costello, coffe- color,maybe il throw a chair through tha window,its only two dollars more, white people aren't having children, she not funny at all. An if I was lik most I cld tak her comments to be sumthg more. Get this women out tht seat an put her in a backroom somewhr

    March 25, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Smitty

      OK – your racist rant was outta left field. At least I think it was racist. Pretty unintelligible. Go back to school – you were cheated the first time. Learn to structure your thoughts and express them. Oh – spellng wouldn't hurt either.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Herbert

    @ Dwayne _______ Alizondo Mountain Dew Comacho: Hello Dwayne. How's the weather?

    March 25, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. B

    Just turned on the TV and watched the story that someone in CNN's production crew choose to run... A Libyan man loads his car with fuel and then drives it into a army barracks to aide the rebels... the report called him a hero and a suicide bomber all in the same breath... can no one at CNN see how hypocritical this is? So we are not against suicide bombing as long as we get to pick the target... surely we should not highlight such cowardly acts which ever "side" carries them out.

    March 25, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Nodack

      One man's terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • RufusVonDufus

      Agree completely!

      March 25, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. erbert

    Hi B. Have you seen letter H? I kind of lost it.

    March 25, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
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