Antiwar.com & Reuters – 2011-03-18 01:36:41
France, Britain Scramble to Attack Libya
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(March 17, 2011) — The Thursday evening approval of a UN resolution calling for military attacks against Libya has left the most eager supporters, France and Britain, scrambling to start launching such strikes, with both expected to begin in a matter of hours.
France was already hyping the attacks before the vote even took place, with Foreign Minister Alain Juppe saying his nation was prepared to attack â€œimmediatelyâ€ after the vote. He also speculated that Britain, the US, and â€œsome Arab countriesâ€ would take part.
Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, who are both already involved in crushing protests in Bahrain, are also expected to take a role soon in the attack on Libya. Britain likewise is a confirmed participant, with Prime Minister David Cameron preparing to address the House of Commons on Friday about the forthcoming war.
The US, however, has been largely mum on what its role will be in the attacks, and while they have deployed some additional ships and aircrafts to the region it is unclear exactly how far they will go in attacking targets within Libya.
Libya: We Will Hit Civilian Targets in Response to Foreign Attack
Gadhafi warns rebels in Benghazi that his armed forces are coming for them tonight, a threat that comes hours before UN Security council will vote on resolution to authorize no-fly zone over Libya and stepped-up sanctions.
(March 17, 201) — Libya will strike back at civilian and foreign targets if the country comes under attack from foreign forces, the Libyan Defense Ministry said in a statement broadcast on television.
Libya’s embattled leader Muammar Gadhafi also warned Libyan rebels on Thursday that his armed forces were coming to their capital Benghazi tonight and would not show any mercy on fighters who resisted them.
In a radio address, he told Benghazi residents that soldiers would search every house in the city and people who had no arms had no reason to fear.
The Libyan Defense Ministry statement also warned that any foreign attack on Libya will endanger air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean basin and expose the area to both short and long term risks.
“Any foreign military act against Libya will expose all air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea to danger and civilian and military (facilities) will become targets of Libya’s counter-attack,” said the statement.
“The Mediterranean basin will face danger not just in the short-term, but also in the long-term,” it said.
The statements from the defense ministry and from the embattled leader come just hours before the United Nations Security council is set to vote on a resolution to authorize a no-fly zone over Libya and stepped-up sanctions, raising the prospect of bombing raids against loyalist forces advancing on the rebel capital of Benghazi in eastern Libya.
France, the only country to recognize the interim rebel council in Benghazi, believes there is enough support for the resolution to pass and military intervention could take place within hours of that, senior French diplomatic sources said.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.