No Fly Zone Passes UN, Fighters May Already Be in the Air Towards Libya
With 10 votes for and five abstentions – China and Russia, India, Brazil and Germany abstained. Operations could begin immediately and there are already unconfirmed reports like the following:
AWACS E-3A tail nr LX-N90451 airborne out of Trapani Italy heading Malta #TakeControl #NFZ #Libya
With US naval resources close to the Libyan coast already including one submarine, the USS Providence, as well as:
The USS Kearsarge, the USS Ponce and the USS Barry are in the Mediterranean. A destroyer, the USS Mason, also crossed the canal with the Providence, the spokesman said. The Los Angeles-class submarine traveled with the USS Enterprise carrier strike group.
– many are watching closely to see who and when air strikes begin. Italy, Qatar and the UAE are already said to be planning to participate along with the US, French and British. While most reports have said an No Fly Zone would take days to organize, other reports have suggested that forces were poised and just waiting for the final vote.
The resolution not only imposes a No Fly Zone, which we should remember likely includes the bombing of air fields and related equipment – but also authorizes:
“all necessary measures” – code for military action – to protect citizens.
Whether this will mean additional actions – no one yet knows.
Gaddafi’s forces were moving in on Benghazi today and it remains to be seen whether this newly authorized force will prevent Gaddafi from attacking the rebel forces there.
The reaction in Benghazi is jubilant with thousands in the streets chanting and singing.
Gaddafi has threatened that:
any military intervention in Libya would endanger air and sea traffic in the Mediterranean Sea.
In a statement released by the state-run Jana news agency, the ministry said that both civilian and military targets in the Mediterranean will be attacked.
Al Jazeera says the text of the resolution:
“Authorises member states … to take all necessary measures … to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory…;
“Decides to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians;
“Calls upon all member states, acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, to provide assistance, including any necessary over-flight approvals, for the purposes of implementing” the no-fly zone.