Muammar Qaddafi promised 'no mercy' for defiant Libyans, as the UN Security Council prepares for a vote on a resolution that would allow for aggressive action against his forces.
Amateur video via APTN/AP
Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, whose tanks and planes have pounded rebellious cities in recent days, took to state radio this evening to bark threats at the residents of Benghazi while the United Nations Security Council deliberated whether to approve military action against his regime.
The Security Council is set to vote on a resolution this evening that would impose a no-fly zone over Libya but that also has language that goes far beyond that.
The draft, written by the US, France, and Lebanon, calls for “all necessary measures short of an occupation” to be taken to protect Libyan civilians. Some analysts in Washington say that will amount to a “no-drive” zone, in which Qaddafi’s tank movements and troops could be targeted from the air if they make more aggressive moves toward eastern cities.
In Benghazi, the capital of the uprising against Qaddafi’s 41-year reign, there has been a shift in mood over the past week.
While the uprising’s militia and civilian supporters were insisting a week ago that they needed no help beyond a no-fly zone, more and more have been calling for the international community – particularly the US – to hit Qaddafi’s forces from the air.
That change has been largely due to a civilian militia learning some hard lessons of war against a better-armed and more ruthless foe. Dozens of the fighters have been killed by rocket strikes and tank fire around the towns of Brega and Ajdabiya in recent days as Qaddafi has sought to surge back into the east.