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Allied Bombing Campaign in Libya Begins

Allied forces – including those of The United States, Great Britain and France – bombarded Libyan air defenses, airfields and ground forces in the start of the activation of the UN Security Council’s resolution to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas. Bombed out tanks and armored vehicles belonging to Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s military littered the streets surrounding Benghazi, a rebel stronghold. The attacks also jammed Libyan military communications, part of an orchestrated campaign to disable Gaddafi’s prime advantage in the months-long civil war: coordinated air and ground power vs. a determined, yet unsophisticated opposition. Admiral Mike Mullen – Chairman of the U.S.’s Joint Chief of Staff – commented that allied operations went very well on their first day and that a no-fly-zone is now effectively in place. No indication of the length of the bombing campaign is apparent; regardless, Col. Gaddafi issued forceful vows of revenge.


Libya Announces Ceasefire

Libya announced a ceasefire today in the aftermath of a U.N. Security Resolution authorizing the use of force to protect civilians and dense urban areas. It is had been reported that a major assault on the rebel stronghold of Benghazi was imminent; but with news of a stoppage of major military operations, anti-regime groups may have received a reprieve after a week of major setbacks. The following link will take you to an explanation of what a no-fly-zone in Libya would look like, along with some of its inherent difficulties (the U.N. Resolution permits the establishment of a no-fly-zone over the country).

No Fly Zone Unlikely

A meeting of the G8 today failed to generate the imposition of a no fly zone over Libya. The foreign ministers of Germany and Russia expressed reservations over any kind of military intervention in the North African nation, effectively over-ruling their counterparts from Great Britain and France, who have both called for more aggressive action to be taken. The representatives attending the G8 meeting called for decisive action to be taken up by the UN Security Council. This latest development arrives as rebel groups in Libya seem to be withering in the face of sustained military pressure from pro-regime forces.

Western Powers Continue To Mull Libyan Options

Western leaders continued to consider their options  as pro-government forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi made gains against rebel groups. U.S. President Barack Obama and various European lawmakers escalated their demand that Gaddafi step down. However,  all stopped short of calling for a no-fly zone, considered by some the best way of hampering Gaddafi’s military effectiveness vs. the rebels. It appears that to ensure Gaddafi’s removal, more than harsh rhetoric will be required; U.S. intelligence chief James Clapper predicted a government victory over the rebels. Indeed, government forces re-took the once-rebel held city of Zawiyah, located just 30 miles west of the capital, Tripol.