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UN Security Council allows 'all necessary measures' to protect Libyan civilians

With pro-Qaddafi forces advancing on the Libyan opposition capital, Benghazi, the UN Security Council approved a no-fly zone and other measures to protect civilians with 10-to-0 vote.

Member states vote to approve a resolution that will impose a no-fly zone over Libya during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council at UN headquarters on Thursday, March 17. In addition to the no-fly zone, the resolution authorizes 'all necessary measures' to protect civilians from attacks by Muammar Qaddafi's forces.

Jason DeCrow/AP

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The United Nations Security Council voted Thursday to approve a resolution authorizing international military intervention in Libya to protect civilians from harm.

Forces loyal to Col. Muammar Qaddafi have been overrunning one opposition stronghold after another and are close to crushing the rebellion that has threatened his 41-year reign. Now the rebels have the backing of the international community, including the United States, if it is not too late.

The resolution, which was drafted by France, Britain, and Lebanon, goes beyond a no-fly zone. It authorizes states to take “all necessary measures” to enforce a ban on flights and protect civilians from harm. That could include targeted air strikes on Libyan military forces, but excludes a ground invasion or occupation force. The resolution passed by a vote of 10 to 0, with five nations abstaining: Russia, China, Germany, India, and Brazil.

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