March 21-22: World leaders debate the March 17 UN resolution authorizing a no-fly zone and “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians. Some leaders are turning against the resolution because they claim the operations have now gone beyond the scope of what they supported when they voted in favor of it. Meanwhile, NATO members debate whether and how to get NATO forces involved in the operation. On March 22, Qaddafi makes his first public appearance since the beginning of UN-authorized air strikes on March 19, vowing from his Tripoli compound not to surrender.
March 20: US and European forces execute air strikes near Qaddafi’s compound in Tripoli, which Qaddafi claims are actually coordinated assassination attempts. Foreign forces say they struck a military command center near the compound, while Qaddafi’s supporters insist the strikes hit the compound itself. Air strikes by US and European forces continue throughout the country.