17th March: As it happened

This post is being constantly updated
All times are in Libyan local time GMT +2

01:13 United Nations Security Council passes resolution for a no-fly zone over Libya. Ten nations voted for the motion, 5 abstained and there were no votes against. Congratulations Libya!

22:48 Reuters Italian defense minister Ignazio La Russa said “We would not shirk our duties, even though our line has always been one of balance and moderation.” Italy is a potential base for any military action against Libya, and they said they would not stand in the way if the UN imposed a no-fly zone. Read here

22:36 The Guardian Britain, France and the US, along with several Arab countries, are to join forces to throw a protective ring around the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi as soon as a UN security council vote on military action is authorised, according to security council sources.

A source at UN headquarters in New York said military forces could be deployed soon after a new security council resolution calling for states to protect civilians by halting attacks by Muammar Gaddafi’s forces by air, land and sea.

Read the article here

22:28 Al Jazeera Arabic An eyewitness has just confirmed the city of Zintan is being bombarded by Gaddafi’s forces right now. The bombardment began after Gaddafi’s speech on radio.

22:24 BBC has just announced that diplomatic sources tell them that 5 countries are expected to abstain from voting including Russia and China

20:15 Al Jazeera Arabic The USA has given the Transitional National Council of Libya assurances that the UN resolution to impose a no-fly zone will pass and that suitable measures to protect the civilians will be made available

19:54 Reuters 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, the Defence Ministry said in a statement broadcast on Libyan television.

The statement said Libya would strike back at civilian and foreign targets if the country comes under attack from foreign forces.

“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.

19:25 Footage showing the fighter jet that was shot down by revolutionaries in Bu Hadi today

Letter from the French President to the Heads of State and Government of the members of the Security Council

“It is high time for the international community, through the Security Council, to pull together in order to draw the logical conclusions from this situation and respond without delay to the urgent appeal of the League of Arab States. For this purpose, Lebanon has circulated a draft resolution.”


“France solemnly calls on all the members of the Security Council to fully shoulder their responsibilities and give support to this initiative.”

Read the whole letter here

19:11 Al Jazeera Arabic A plane carrying tens of tons of humanitarian and medical aid is on its way from Qatar to Libya today.

18:37 Reuters Egypt said on Thursday it would not be involved in any military intervention in its neighbour Libya after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said discussions were under way about possible Arab involvement. “Egypt will not be among those Arab states. We will not be involved in any military intervention. No intervention period,” Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Menha Bakhoum told Reuters. Read article here

18:31 BBC Analyst from Oxford tells the BBC that it will cost america $300 million dollars a week to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya

18:31 BBC Arab League envoy to the UN have confirmed that 2 Arab countries are prepared to participate in enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya

18:13 Reuters US Mission to UN Security Council says vote on Libya resolution will likely be at 0330 EDT (1930 GMT)

18:03 Al Jazeera Arabic Benghazi is saying to Saif and Gaddafi: We are too cool

17:53 Al Jazeera English Consultations on the draft UN Security Council resolution in New York have just begun.

MSNBC17:41 MSNBC has published the last known photo of missing New York Times photographers. Please click the image for a larger view

17:33 Al Jazeera English Scott Heidler in New York reports that the United Nations Security Council is still discussing developments in Afghanistan, with deputy ambassadors present. The formal, closed-door consultations on Libya have not yet begun

Politiken17:00 Politiken.dk An overwhelming majority of the Danish Parliament is prepared to send the Danish Air Force to Libya to enforce a no-fly zone, even if the United Nations is unable to agree on intervention.

“The United Nations Security Council has been asleep. And in the meantime only one thing has happened – Gaddafi has built up increasing momentum against the pro-democratic forces,” says Liberal Foreign Policy Spokesman Michael Astrup Jensen.

Read the article here

16:53 Unconfirmed There are unconfirmed reports that some high ranking Officers in Gaddafi’s forces which are attempting to leave Libya from the eastern border with Tunisia before the potential passing of the UN no-fly zone resolution today. This has been sourced from Misratah’s free press movement.

16:26 Footage of damage caused to a mosque in Misratah today

16:16 Abdul Hafeeth Ghoga spokesman for the Transitional Council has just made the following points which we have translated and bring to you in summarised form:

  • Massacres in Misratah after city cut off all communications. Strikes on the city from land air and sea
  • Zwara and Western Mountains as well
  • Also Benghazi today, 4 strikes in Benina and Bu Atni, they attempted to destroy airport. This is Gaddafi’s response to the people’s revolution
  • Regarding the int. community, we think that they will agree even on strategic bombardments against Gaddafi’s forces.
  • All the people of Libya have done is demonstrate for their basic rights
  • We have heard that they have agreed the text for the no-fly zone and are in the process of discussing what is beyond a no-fly zone.
  • We are against land troops totally. But if there is support under the umbrella of UN, then we agree with that.
  • Things in Ajdabiya are currently swinging in favour of the revolution. Gaddafi is doing nothing more than bombarding mercilessly and without distinction.
  • Saif can speak as much as he wants. As far as REAL progress, then that is non-existant on the ground. He knows that a no-fly zone is coming nearer and nearer, so they’re trying to kill as much as they can before it is implemented.

16:07 Al Jazeera Arabic is reporting that Gaddafi’s fighter jets are bombarding for the third time Benina airbase which has defected and in the control of the revolutionaries. They are attempting to destroy the airbase to prevent defected fighter jets from taking off. There are also reports that barracks belonging to the defected 36th battalion.

15:53 Iyad El-Baghdadi reports that Benghazi itself is said to be calm. The military council has requested no videos of the front lines are put up, to prevent revealing tactical information. He further adds that Gaddafi’s regime is using more psychological warfare by calling and texting Benghazi residents. Lastly he reports some demonstrations by the Warfalla and Tarhuna tribes, denying claims that they support Gaddafi.

Almanara Media15:35 Al Manara reports via twitter that its witnesses have said there were very dark clouds over Benghazi this morning, forcing the jets to fly low. They also added that 1 jet was shot down earlier this morning in addition to the 2 jets mentioned earlier.

15:08 Demonstrations yesterday in Benghazi.
Via ShababLibya.

14:26 @BaghdadBrian tweets: Being confirmed benghazi, libya 2 or 3 planes shot down and 2 planes defected to opposition it is still singlesource on our end.

@Elleebi adds: Confirmation from within Benghazi of TWO Gadaffi fighter jets shot down

@ShababLibya: Citizens of Benghazi reported jet fighters, hearing anti air aircraft gun fire, explosion and now plumes of smoke // We are also hearing from the ground 2 jets may have defected // Another call to Benghazi confirming the 2 jets had been shot down

@AlmanaraMedia Two Gaddafi War Jets have been Shot down in Benghazi after they bombed Banina Air Base.

We’re hoping to get more confirmation soon.

13:56We posted this video earlier, and we post it again with the promised translation. A contributor kindly emailed the translation to us, so thank the contributor very much.


In the name of God most Gracious most merciful
A call to the Libyan army. I would like to remind you that this revolution has no other goals, except the demand of the removal of Qaddafi. This comes after 41 years of gagging mouths. After 41 years of confiscating freedoms, after 41 years of repression, degradation and humiliation. After 41 years of Qaddafi promoting himself to the rank of God to be worshipped. Your people have revolted other to express their opinions about this murderer. So why do you face your people with bullets. Is this your civil duty ? To defend one person? I swear by God it is a shame (disgrace) and sad to see you killing your brothers while holding pictures of this lunatic and cheering the chants that are lies, awkward and silly. We don’t see the brave and free revolutionists (freedom fighters) hold up pictures of anyone nor cheer for the life of anyone. Their only chant is Libya Libya. The choice is yours to either to stand with your people, or with the tyrant. No third option. I will remind you of the verse from the Holy Quran “Indeed Pharoah, Haman and their soldiers were wrongdoers”. I swear justice will prevail in this life before the hereafter if you don’t stop. I swear each person who lost a dear one by your hands will demand rightful justice now before later. This regime has ended. This regime has worn out, and will not rise again. So don’t kill representing them, rather come join your people before it is too late.

9:39 This video reportedly shows the hospital in Ajdabiya yesterday. Warning, this video contains graphic images.
(Via feb17.info)
9:15 Al Jazeera Medical sources in Misurata said that at least 80 members of Gaddafi’s forces were killed during yesterday’s fighting.

08:05 It is phenomenal and truly inspiring how the demonstrations and revolutions have spread from country to country. For those who are interested, we’d like to point you to the Facebook page of the Armenian revolution, here. Today there will be another big rally, and we’d like to give our heartfelt support to the Armenian people.

7:40 Al Jazeera reports that in Benghazi, opposition protesters are buoyed by news that fighters in a nearby town have beaten back an offensive by Gaddafi’s forces. While some in the city are apprehensive that the war may still come to their door step, they remain defiant, vowing to fight on to defeat Gaddafi’s troops.

Almanara MediaAlmanara Media 05:29 Video from the front lines of battle in the city of Misratah 16th March. Translation below video


Cameraman: Cover our backs guys, from here. Stay here for a while. God is Greater, God is Greater
On the 16th March 2011, the security battalions of Gaddafi moved towards Misratah and tried to control it but were not able to enter the striving city of Misratah. They failed terribly and the youth were able to stop them on the main costal highway, the coastal highway, and here is the flag of independence on its way to stop them at point on the coastal highway. At this time, with the point ahead of me here, it seems that we have full control over the battalion that is present on the left side of the road, and we have it under complete control all Praise be God. God is greater, God is greater, God is greater, God is greater and to God is all thanks! God is greater! God is greater! God is greater…

Guy off shot: They’ve caught one. There there, his car is still here he’s in it and it’s known if he’s dead or what..
Another guy off shot: Ah, the afro guy who owns the chevrolet…
Guy off shot: Did you record it? Did you record him?
Cameraman: I swear I wasn’t able to record him, even the guys said don’t record him. These (recordings) we’re going to prepare and send to Al Jazeera. Even the telephone lines have been cut by these dogs. More than once someone calls, the moment he picks up, they say “hello” then close the line.
Shouting: take it easy, take it easy!
Guys with AK47: Camera? It’s alright you can record me, it’s all cool! God is Greater!
Cameraman: God is greater! God is greater! God is greater! At last you have become modern Abu Sha’alah! God is greater! Where’ve you been? Where’ve you been? (laughing) God is greater! God is greater!
Guy shouting: Don’t go near anything boys! Yo!
Cameraman: Guys! The place might be booby-trapped or something, be careful! Don’t move anything!
Cameraman: And now the revolutionaries want to attempt to sweep the coastal highway. This spot is located………this direction board illustrates the place we’re in at the moment. From this spot, the capital Tripoli is 240km away.
Guy with ammo belt round neck: We’re coming for you Mu’ammar, we’re coming for you, we’re coming for you Mu’ammar. By the will of God (we’ll reach) Baab Al Aziziyah, we’re coming for you!
Guy runs into screen: It’s coming for you Mu’ammar! It’s coming it’s coming!
Guy off shot: God is greater!
Guy at a distance: Hey hey hey! Stop recording stop recording! Stop recording hey!

Cameraman: God is greater God is greater God is greater
[unclear..something about the camera]
Guy walking towards camera: No no leave it…[unclear]
Cameraman: God is greater God is greater God is greater
(Heavy gunfire)
Cameraman: God is greater God is greater …




Cameraman: Date is 16th March….God is greater…in the area of Karzaaz. The battalion is positioned on the coast highway. I bear witness that there is no god except God and that Muhammed is the messenger of God. Abdul[…], keep low
Friend: Did you see that [unclear] by the Will of God it is ours. Did you see that car that came in or not?
Cameraman: Yeah
Partner: God willing it is them
Cameraman: You should’ve seen the anti-aircraft bullet that shot past us
Friend: slowly slowly
Cameraman: Just wait a moment

NYT04:45 Asharq Alawsat Interview with Major General Abdul-Fattah Younis who has very optimistic views regarding the military situation on the ground and how things will develop. Read the article here

04:33 @SherrieGG has uploaded this fantastic caricature. Please click the image for a larger view

NYT04:14 The New York Times: WASHINGTON — The prospect of a deadly siege of the rebel stronghold in Benghazi, Libya, has produced a striking shift in tone from the Obama administration, which is now pushing for the United Nations to authorize aerial bombing of Libyan tanks and heavy artillery to try to halt the advance of forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. Read the article here

03:41 The Copenhagen Post Lene Espersen, the foreign minister, told parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday that the Air Force is preparing four F-16 fighter jets to take part in an internationally-backed no-fly zone over Libya, should Nato high command decide to act.

The government is trying to build support in parliament and internationally for a United Nations-backed no-fly zone over Libya to block Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi from making further advances against rebel forces and attacking Libyan civilians.

Read the article here

CBS03:02 CBSNews have a copy of the draft UN resolution document which has been the focus of today’s discussions regarding the no-fly zone over Libya. Read the document here

02:49 Al Jazeera English live blog is reporting from AFP that the UN Security Council have reached an agreement on the text of a draft resolution on Libya, which will be put to a vote on Thursday, diplomats said.

02:35 Libya’s Deputy Permanent UN Representative states that 400 vehicles are headed to destroy Ajdabiya right now. The convoy has been instructed to spare nothing and no one.

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5 Responses to 17th March: As it happened

  1. Alex says:

    It may sound a bit crazy, but it would be good if anyone could transmit this message to all those in Benghazi and on the front. I have posted this message also on Al Jazeera blog and in many other places. This informations here are taken from military manual, and are good in asimetric warfare, defending city with inferior firepower against a technicall and numericall superior enemy:

    – Split the armed forces into regiments, battalions, whatever, with leaders and with a high degree of independence. These should comunicate one with eachother trough signals.
    – Block with cars, sandbags, whatever you can the main road junctions inside the city.
    – Prepare trenches whenever is possible, barricade the low lewel flats in buildings, and put gunners there and man with RPG. Do not put positions on building tops, this is big mistake, they are easy target for enemy helicopters !
    – Put whatever anti-aircraft batteries to cover the center of the city. in strategic places, sorrounded by sandbags or any other defence you can muster. Put them in parcs or other open ares to have better visibility.
    – Watch for the sea, protect the coast in order to avoid any landing. Do not engage enemy ships patrolling the sea, do not draw attention to your position- let them land troops, and overwhelm the troops on the beach using previously fortified positions in the city as support.’e
    – Do not rush to engage the enemy. Let the enemy come close to you, as close as possible, wait for him in silence and only then attack him. NEVER RUSH AGAINST THEM because you will be defeated. Lure their tanks and APC`s into streets, and attack them with Molotov Coctails and RPG`s. Attack ALWAYS THE FIRST VEHICLE in the column to jam the others on the road. Molotov Coctails are very effective against older design tanks, and will work fine.
    – DO NOT RESPOND to artilery shelling. You have no capacity to sustain an artilery duel, you have no training and weapons for that, and if you respond, the enemy might be able to exactly track your location and whipe you out.
    – When attacking, compensate the inferior firepower with superior numbers. Never attack from a single dirrection, always attack from multiple sides. Close quarters combat is the key to succes.
    – Fortify the factorys. They have good hiding places !
    – Put gasoline, or petroleum or whatever flamable material you have on roads or in barrels near the places in wich you lure the enemy, and when enemy cames nearby, lit it up. Poles did this in 1939 at Warsaw defence, Soviets did that at Stalingrad in 1942, and it worked.
    – If possible, use the sewage system for communications and surprise attack

  2. ankhwashitaw says:

    In Benghazi – Libya’s rebel-controlled second largest city – opposition protesters are buoyed by news that fighters in a nearby town have beaten back an offensive by Gaddafi’s forces…..

    Let’s hope they aren’t in the exact same spots when he comes back.,,,,but if they are well dug in……They didn’t beat him back, that was a probe……………….That’s a lot of flank on a city———should have constant patrollllll

  3. sirius says:

    About that suicide pilot attack, could you translate this:


    so what’s the truth? 🙁

  4. UN Spokesperson says:

    It is not true. The UN have not launched any military strikes on Libya. We are seeking a peaceful resolution. Everything is peaceful. Peaceful in the East, peaceful in the South, peaceful in the North. Even in Tripoli many parts are peaceful.
    It is AlGaida! AlGaida spiked Gaddafi and his illegitimate regimes Nescafe with drugs.
    It is Libyan State TV! They are liars! Those pictures they claim to be UN strikes are fake.

  5. rich drozek says:

    I strongly believe that you are fighting a constituted Government, hence you are revolutionaries which the Libyan Government must destroy. Barak Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Robert Gates, and the other Democrats who are destroying our economic life in America are not the World’s Dictators to determine if we should spend our resources to help you people. We have our own problems that need to be fixed. This killing by American jets is a diversion by Obama against the great dislike that we have for this “empty bag” in our White House. Bill Clinton did the same act in Kosovo when he was discovered getting blow jobs in the Oval House. Now Obama is following his strategy. We have the worse Admininstration in our History made up of Homosexuals, Lesbians, Blacks, Jews, and Marxist Unionist. We Americans need a revolution ourselves to usurp these legalist thugs and corporate lobbyist. So why do we need to help you murderous Islamist?

    It is not our responsibility to spend our power to help you revolutionary malcontent moslems. If you want to give your lives running around with your guns, then so be it, but American Presidents do not have the power to interfer in the domestice affairs of other Nation. Obama does not have the constitutional power to act against the leader in Libya.

    Wish you the best, but do it on your own and leave us alone!!!!

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