Following a UN resolution, France has announced that it is intervening through military means to prevent the Libyan regime’s aggression against civilians. Others are following.
“It is a grave decision that we have come to take,” Sarkozy told reporters.
He stressed that besides the craft already in the air, further jets are ready to take off and attack. He also noted that if Gadhafi, having earlier ignored the warnings of the international community through neglecting to adhere to the provisions of the UN’s no-fly zone resolution and likewise continuing fighting despite a ceasefire declared by his administration, will immediately retreat, he can still return to the realm of diplomacy.
Reports before Sarkozy’s press conference indicated that Libyan military bases, airports and tanks are among the primary targets should French forces be called to open fire.
Based on earlier reports, the French air force could be joined by UK, Belgian and Norwegian planes. Italy has announced it would commit airbases as the center of operation while US President Barack Obama also took a strong stand against the actions of the Gadhafi regime.
Arab countires have also indicated they would contribute resources to the campaign.
US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was “very clear” in stating America is behind the initiative and will provide military capacities to the effort to enforce the UN resolution. At the same time, she firmly declared that no US land troops will be involved.
“We are standing with the people of Libya and we will not waver in our effort to protect them,” Clinton said.
Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has reaffirmed that Italy will only participate in the effort by providing access to the air base in Sicily.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated that Germany will take no active part. At the same time there are indications that the German military may take over certain roles played by US forces in Afghanistan, relieving the capacities so they can be redirected to Lybia.
Russia has expressed regret over the decision to take military action.
Later in the night, the US launched tomahawk missiles on military targets