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. Herbert

    So that your lame brain can read it.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chas

    I served with NATO in Turkey in the Army. News Flash: We, the United States is NATO. We run the show. So what is this about NATO taking over the operations in Libya.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • RufusVonDufus

      Sadly we are also the U.N.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • stylo might

      Chas, U.S. is the largest contributing member member to NATO and just as in the UN, not the only member. U.S. also are the 3rd most populated country in the world and when the U.S. aligns itself with its NATO allies in times of military action in our global village, events tend run smoother and successfully quicker than unilateral action. There are past and present conflicts that puts the proof to the ugly pudding of coalitions of the willing...

      March 25, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazz7

      @ Rufus , did u listen to that song by Rusfus Wainwright " Across the Universe"

      March 25, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. hey

    http://imgur.com/2smRE

    March 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. david

    It is always about oil and religion because if it is about the rights and freedom of the people,why is nobody showing concern about the situation in Ivory Coast?Yes its an African country and I bet most of you haven't of it. Thousands are murdered on the street like chicken and millions are homeless. Come on people let's be honest for once in our lives. Let the people of Libya take care of their problems. You've destroyed lives already..

    March 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chuck

    Next stop Syria?

    March 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • California Conservative

      Take your pick, the middle east is all falling apart.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Servant

    BROTHERS I LOVVE YOUUU MENN WHOO SHOWWED NO PAIN NO GAIN, NEW MEN YOU ARE I DRANK ALL OFF IT FOR USSS TO SHARRE AND ENJOYYYY WINK WINK WINK AMENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

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

      "Servant

      BROTHERS I LOVVE YOUUU MENN WHOO SHOWWED NO PAIN NO GAIN, NEW MEN YOU ARE I DRANK ALL OFF IT FOR USSS TO SHARRE AND ENJOYYYY WINK WINK WINK AMENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN"

      QFT. Wait what?

      March 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Servant

    A CANN NEVEER HATEE A FALLEN CHAMPION THEE VOID ISSS THEE FAULT NOT AND NEVERRR UUUU MEN I RESTORE WHAT WAS ONCE GREAT REPUBLIC BUTTT COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLREALLLLLLLLLLL COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLL LOVVVVVVVVVVE ATTTTTTTTTTTALLLLLLLLLLLBOUNDDDDDDDDS

    March 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dwayne Herbert Alizondo Mountain Dew Comacho

    @Herbert: it's 30+ degrees here. NATO needs to do something about this frigid weather. I say we nuke the skies. After the UN gives the skies time to change it's ways of course.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Servant

    NO NEED TO DESTROY FOR ENEGERY JUSTT ASSK ANND YOU SHALL RECIEVEEEEEEEEEEE

    March 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dwayne Herbert Alizondo Mountain Dew Comacho

    @Dennis: Small one syllable words please. This is a blog, not an address to the UN.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dwayne Herbert Alizondo Mountain Dew Comacho

    @dennis: Doesn't make sense unless you're saying religion is a crock, where spirituality and morality are separate from faith and religion.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. what4info

    This is what happen when the Prez lack foreign policy experience and spend one year in the congress and we say he the man for the job. I can remember when 9-11 happen and we blame Bush for his failure to react fast enough. Well where are the american that were mad then. Another thing the Prez and the yes man Bill Gates let cut the military budget when there program out there to cut other programs. Like welfare for people who can work but chose not to. Just think about the info out there.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smitty

      Yes, it's all Bill Gates' fault – Microsoft is the root of all evil. what-4-info is sadly uninformed. Too many Palin reruns.

      FYI – Obama & Bush-II, not that much different. It's fun to watch the right & left wing-dings howl while we cringe.
      2012? No heros emerging yet.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Herbert

    @Dwayne_______Alizondo Mountain Dew Camacho: Appreciate the weather report. Herbert is now my name. I will thank you in advance for not using it.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mumar Ghadafi

    What the hell is wrong with u people of the world .... Leave libya alone "Cant u see the people of libya love me they will die for me, death to america the great satan and israel the ZIONIST PIGS" cant u people see this has all been orchestrated by the zionist pigs and the great satan.........

    March 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Whodat

    What a mess.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
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