This post is being constantly updated
All times are in Libyan local time GMT +2
01:38 Another video showing two disabled tanks in central Misratah today. The cameraman explains that they were cornered and disabled by the revolutionaries and that he wants to send this video to the the media and press
01:27 Footage from Misratah today verifying that the revolutionaries destroyed 2 tanks and 1 armoured personnel carrier. Near the end of the video, the youth warn each other that snipers are around.
01:20 BBC What’s the difference between Libya and Yemen or Bahrain? All three states have been using violence to crush pro-democracy protests. But only against Libya are the US and its Western allies planning a military response.
Yemen and Bahrain’s crackdowns have so far been met only with words, not action.On one level the answer is obvious. Bahrain and Yemen are US allies – especially Bahrain with its large US naval base. Libya is not.
01:02 The Wall Street Journal The crisis in Libya has forced back onto the agenda all the tough choices of modern-day foreign policy. Should we intervene? Do we do so for moral reasons or for national interests? How do we balance the need for a policy that is strong, assertive and well articulated with the desire not to appear over-mighty and arrogant?
In today’s world, the distinction between moral outrage and strategic interests can be false. In the Middle East, where our strategic interests are dramatically and profoundly engaged, it is unlikely that the effect of a regime going rogue and brutalizing its own people will remain isolated within its own borders.
23:46 Reuters U.S. envoy Rice: Gaddafi is viloating U.N Security Council resolution adopted Thursday which demanded immediate ceasefire
23:42 Correction to our wording earlier: BBC reporter near RAF Mahram base has reported that a number of squadrons will deploy aircraft from this base including 9 Squadron, which specializes in SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defence), and 31 Squadron, which is known to be “Storm Shadow” capable. Storm Shadow is an anti-armour weapon for use against tanks and artillery etc. There may also be a contingent from 2 Squadron which specializes in recconnaisance. RAF Coningsby will also deploy Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, primarily for air defence operations and to provide protective cover to offensive aircraft.
23:09 Libyan Spokesman giving live conference now. So far he has said:
1. Forces are complying with ceasefire
2. Forces will not enter Benghazi rather they will remain at the perimeter and monitor situation
3. We have released all those detained including journalists who broke the law by entering the country illegally
4. The New York Times journalists’ issue has been resolved now
5. Do not believe Al Jazeera
6. There is no air bombardment on Misratah. And there has been no bombardment of any kind after the ceasefire declaration
7. Our cities are outside the city of Benghazi and NOT in the city of Benghazi
8. The international observers from the counties I named (Turkey China and Russia and Germany) can be in Libya in a few hours and can verify my statements and will be allowed to go to the locations they want to.
9. There are very strange and funny things that have been said. We have seen Az Zawiya city. It is open and on your way there you can see many places and locations. I find this request very strange because things are very normal in Az Zawiya.
10. There are no military operations in Az Zawiya. The army exists there to secure the life and safety of the people because of the rebels. What we have in Az Zawiya checkpoints. Any soverign country has the right to have procedures to safeguard the safety of its people
11. You mentioned freedom of expression. What is the relation between freedom of expression and people mounting tanks and raising arms to fight the government
12. I assure you there will be no demonstrations anywhere.
13. What happened in Tajoura a few weeks ago from clashes was a local problem and it has now been resolved.
14. Our position is clear, this is the policy of the government: There are no attacks on peaceful protestors
22:22 Al Jazeera Arabic Ajdabiya residents who have fled the city towards Tobruk have been speaking about the horrors and massacres that their city has been subjected to over the past 24 hours. Merciless killings that spared no one be they young or old, man or woman. Residential areas that housed peaceful families were heavily bombed with tanks and heavy artillery. The civilians were unarmed and were simply overwhelmed. Many have fled and are now near the Libyan-Egyptian border.
21:22 BREAKING Al Jazeera Arabic reporting the following from Benghazi
- Telecommunications have been cut from Benghazi
- Geminis and Sullog areas (approximately 50km south west of Benghazi) currently under heavy attack
- Gaddafi has used the navy to deploy troops in Gargoora region to make headway
- Gaddafi’s troops have progressed 60km in 2 hours towards Benghazi
- Reports that Gaddafi’s troops entered Misratah hospital today and killed the wounded
- Reports of 1200 families fled Ajdabiya via Al Kufrah headed towards Qubbah and Tobruk
- AlHurra Radio in Benghazi is calling on the Benghazi youth to take arms and prepare for battle
- The majority of media crews have left Benghazi after Saif’s threats. Al Jazeera is the only media team left in Benghazi
21:18 Al Jazeera Arabic has just reported that Gaddafi’s ground troops, tanks and heavy artillery are only 50km away from Benghazi and making headway to the city right now
Catch up: Obama’s statement regarding the ongoing crisis in Libya
20:48 President Obama has delivered a strong and striking statement regarding the ongoing situation in Libya. He outlined the preliminary requests that the international community called on Obama to respond to, namely to instantly halt the use of military force against his people. Obama then went on to speak about the UN resolution 1970 and the sanctions imposed on Gaddafi regime. Thereafter, he explained that Gaddafi did not respond to the resolution and chose to ignore it, thus bringing about the stronger UN resolution 1973 which passed with a majority of 10 votes yesterday. Amongst Obama’s main quotes:
- “Muammar Gaddafi clearly lost the confidence of his own people and his legitimacy to lead”
- Regarding the terms of UN resolution 1973: “Let me be clear: these terms are not negotiable. These terms are not subject to negotiation”
- “Now, once more Muammar Gaddafi has a choice – the resolution that was passed lays out very clear conditions that must be met…. A ceasefire must be implemented immediately. That means all attacks against civilians must stop.”
- “I also want to be clear about what we not be do – the US is not going to deploy ground troops to Libya. And we are not going to use force beyond a specific criteria, to protect the rights of civilians.”
20:11 AFP Malta, which lies in the Mediterranean not far from Libya’s coast, says it will not allow UN forces to use its bases to enforce a no-fly zone. The country is politically neutral by constitution, reports AFP
19:57 BBC reporter near RAF Mahram base has reported that two Squardons might be departing from this air base. Squadron 9 which is specialised in taking out SAM sites (Surface to Air Missles) and Squadron 32 (aka. Storm Shadow) which specialised in targeted bombing of tanks and artillery
18:37 BREAKING Almanara correspondent A comprehensive update from the clashes that occurred in Misratah today from Almanara correspondent. We have translated the entire video which is linked to the last video we posted from Misratah a short while ago.
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Mawan Al Misrati from Misratah. I was in the battle from from 30 mins ago. I was there for 4 hours. Today Gaddafi’s forces expanded their action in the city. They managed to enter the city but the revos managed to stop them. Some of their vehicles, because they brought in tanks and snipers were cornered and didn’t know to escape. So they started shooting randomly and shelling the buildings and the areas they entered from.
They entered from Benghazi and Tripoli, they also entered from Borwayya which we call the coastal highway. This means they entered from East, West and South. After that, the revos managed to stop the guys coming in from Borwayya area. The tanks managed to reach Al Jazeera area which is 10km away from the centre of the city where two of the tanks were destroyed. After that, the forces coming in from the west retreated to their bases outside the city. We can now hear random bombardments here in the outskirts of Misratah. We are approximately 5km away from the city centre. There was random shelling by the forces after they were cornered and they started shelling houses and residential areas. I was personally present near the People’s Hall where 8 shells landed continuously in less than 5 minutes. They were randomly and thankfully the media and press were with us and they too managed to record these shells landing. The shells were random and lethal. The residents were targeted and some of them died as martyrs at the hands of snipers. We were unable to collect their bodies due to the widespread of snipers and our inability pinpoint their positions due to their use of silencers, so you can’t hear where the shot is coming from or where they are.
After the area near the People’s Hall was bombarded, a residential block was shelled and the 5th and 6th floor were completely destroyed. This apartment block is directly on Tripoli street, we don’t know if people were in their apartments at the time. The revos were unable to go in and check because the bombardment was so vicious and ruthless and random. I can’t describe it. There is no will or power except through God.
After that, a number of snipers were cornered in Benghazi street. Some of them were with personnel carriers and tanks, and the revos managed to destroy one tank after which the rest of the convoy withdrew to an area which is 3km away from the center of the city. Some of the snipers lost the way they came from so headed to the Humanities College where they were cornered. Praise be to God the revos managed to capture a number of them. Thank God, the revos were victorious of them. The sad thing is that these snipers were not Libyan, they were from Africa and were professionally equipped and well trained.
After that 2 personnel carriers entered Abdullah Al Ghareeb Street in an attempt to reclaim and relocate a destroyed personnel carrier in As Souq Al Moghlaq area. They started to shell the houses randomly. The revos tried to stop them but were unable to due to how random the shelling was. Praise be to God though, some revos managed to sneek behind the 2 tanks and disabled one tank but the other one got away. Their aim was to prevent the media from filming the destroyed tank so they can say “We have indeed implemented the ceasefire and are no longer firing”, but they failed miserably. And God willing everything is confirmed with footage and we will be uploading it over the next hour. And may peace be with you all.
18:10 BREAKING We have received information directly from Tripoli which described the city as been almost completely empty after Friday prayers today. The security forces are present even more heavily and at every road junction. They even have tents pitched as it seems they do not intend to leave these positions anytime soon
17:10 Al Jazeera‘s Anita McNaught in Tripoli reports that a series of loud explosions have been heard coming from west of the capital. It is unclear what has caused them.
17:09 A video has been uploaded showing heavy bombardment by tanks in Misratah today. We have translated the dialogue which you will find below the video:
Cameraman: And here a residential block was shelled today situated in Tripoli Street in the middle of Misratah at exactly 2:15pm.
Cameraman: There is no god except God! Another shell targeting the civilians near the People’s Hall. Random bombardment, random!
Chant: God is Greater! God if Greater!
Guy: A shell, FOUR shells!
Another guy: Get in the car, get in. Tell him to go!
Guy: Record record!
Guy: Look, in the same place.
Guy: Record this, 4 shells and now another 2 more. This is clear targeting of the civilians. It seems they know our position
Chant: God is greater! God is greater!
Chant: There is no god except God!
Guy: Shadi! Come! Come here Shadi. It came here
Cameraman: It seems they are focusing in the areas most busy in Tripoli Street in Misratah. The random bombardment is in the middle of the city near the People’s Hall on either side of the road. This is because the revolutionaries came out this morning after the announcement of the UN Security Council resolution in happiness and celebration. And now they are being fired at randomly. Even the light weaponry they don’t use anymore. They’re just using tanks
Chant: God is Greater! God is Greater! God is Greater!
Cameraman: This will be sent to Al Jazeera today God-willing
Cameraman: We can’t come any closer, the majority of shells are landing in Tripoli Street.
Cameraman: This is a clear plan from Gaddafi’s dogs and security forces they want to come and withdraw their tanks because this morning we destroyed 7 of their tanks. They want to pull them out so that we don’t film them and cause a scandal.
Cameraman: A shell has just hit a Girl’s Secondary School called Misratah’s Girl’s Secondary School for Humanities. The shelling is occurring in an area with a diameter of approximately 200m. This is a residential area and many people are unable to leave their homes
This man does not care about the No-fly zone. Like he said, it’s only ink on paper
Cameraman: He’s insane!
Cameraman: This is another cameraman who has been injured
16:17 Al Jazeera Arabic Gunfire and heavy artillery clashes between rebels and #Gaddafi forces at Southern entrance of Ajdabiya (via AJE correspondent).
16:16 Al Manara reports of ongoing clashes in Zintan. Iyad El-Baghdadi writes: “Zintan reportedly being bombarded by Grads for an hour now”
15:34 Shelling of Misurata by Libyan government forces continues, reports Reuters. They report 25 people have been killed. After the Libyan government declared a cease fire, many people on Twitter also report that Misrata is still under attack. Some tweets are:
15:20 @iyad_elbaghdadi: To those asking about Gaddafi’s “cease fire”, it’s a pathetic ploy. Attacks on Misurata continue and shooting protesters continues.
15:26 @Bintlibya: Still heavy shooting in #Misrata on the outskirts… Yup sounds like a ceasefire
15:27 @LibyanDictator: Gunfire continues on the outskirts of #Misrata with snipers on the tops of flat blocks at the end of Tripoli street. // 15:33 Ceasefire is a load of bull. #Misrata still hearing heavy gunfire and snipers still sniping
15:12 The New York Times Four New York Times journalists missing in Libya since Tuesday were captured by forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and will be released Friday, his son, Seif Islam el-Qaddafi, told Christiane Amanpour in an ABC News interview. Read the article here
15:07 BBC Spain will allow Nato to use two of its military bases for the operation over Libya, according to AFP. It quotes Defence Minister Carme Chacon saying Spain will also provide air and naval forces for use in air operations
14:47 The Guardian Live Feed have transcribed the main points said by Mousa Kousa, Libya’s Foreign Minister:
“There are signs that the use of military power might indeed take place. This goes clearly against the UN charter, and it is a violation of the national sovereignty of Libya. It is also a violation of article 42 of the charter.”
“My country is very serious about continuing the development – economic, social of the Libyan nation,”
“We express our sadness towards what the resolution has included, and of procedures againstt the Libyan nation, such as the no-fly zone”, Koussa says. He said the inclusion of commerical flights will “increase the suffering of Libyan people”, and says the international community should have exempted these flights from the resolution.
“Also the total and inclusive freezing of al Libyan assets and investments will have a very negative impact on normal Libyans,” the foreign minister says.
“We agree to the article on the protection of civilians,” he says.
“Therefore, building on this, the Libyan state encourages the opening of all dialogue channels with everyone interested in the territory of Libya.”
“Libya has decided an immediate ceasefire and stoppage of all military operations,” the country’s foreign minister Mousa Koussa says.
“MY country will try to deal with this resolution,”
“Libya has now got knowledge of the resolution, and in accordance with article 25 of the UN charter and given that Libya is a member of the UN security council, Libya is committed to accept the UN security council resolution.”
14:47 Mousa Kousa Libyan Foreign Minister has just announced that Libya will instantly halt all its military activities in conformance with the UN Security Council resolution
14:40 Iyad El Baghdadi has created updated maps of the movements and current situation in Libya. Thanks Iyad! Please click the images for a larger view
14:19 Belgium’s European Affairs Minister Olivier Chastel tells the AFP news agency his country will contribute six F-16 fighter planes and a frigate to the operation to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya.
13:50 Al Jazeera Arabic is broadcasting live footage from Yemen where a massacre has occurred today during Friday prayers. Civilians were subjected to live ammunition and tear gas while in prayer and reports of 30 fatalities and over 100 injuries so far.
Yemen, your Libyan brothers and sisters are with you, we feel your pain and pray that your tribulation is relieved soon. May God protect you give you patience and steadfastness.
13:50 BBC UK Prime Minister David Cameron says Britain is to deploy RAF Tornado and Typhoon fighters to help enforce the UN resolution on Libya. He told the House of Commons preparations to deploy the aircraft have already started.
13:45 BBC David Cameron has said military intervention is necessary in Libya to stop “brutal attacks” on civilians, saying the UK would “play its part” in action against the Gaddafi regime.
The UK Prime Minister told MPs that “exceptional circumstances” justified action in Libya within “clear limits”.
11:37 “The Villain Sarkozy is sending his planes to Libya within hours. Here is a picture of our #1 anti-plane defense.”
Thanks to @LibyanStateTV
11:07 @ChangeInLibya tweets: Misrata is reported to be under a huge armoured attack but the revolutionaries captured a few and burnt others there today.
@LibyanDictator CONFIRMED: Tumina on the outskirts of #Misrata was emptied yesterday. Families who refused to leave now missing // Gaddafi forces attacking empty town Tumina on the outskirts of #Misrata. Shelling and burning everything.
Al Arabiya reports that the attack started around 3 hours ago and is still ongoing. They said an “unspecified number of people” had been killed and wounded in the attack.
11:04 Reuters NATO will discuss its role in the international efforts today. In order to act, NATO requires “a demonstrable need for the alliance to act, firm regional support and a clear legal basis”. By clear legal basis, it means that the 28 NATO states need to approve its involvement. Turkey has already spoken against alliance intervention in Libya, as has Germany. Read here.
10:52 Here’s Al Jazeera’s report on implementing a no-fly zone
10:31 Eurocontrol, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation reports that Tripoli Air Traffic Control has put out a notice that Libyan airspace is closed and it will not accept any aircraft “until further notice”.
10:21 AFP Qatar will contribute to international efforts to protect Libyan civilians and has urged quick action to impose a no-fly zone on the North African country, state news agency QNA reports.
9:45 @Anony_Ops tweets: “Operation #Libya: libyan-embassy.co.uk, foreign.gov.ly, afroeurope.org.ly, afroarab.org.ly are all down.”
9:41 AFP reports that according to an opposition spokesman there are air strikes in Misrata currently.
@Libi4ever tweets: “1 martyr in Misrata right now, the city still under heavy bombing”
9:40 Le Soir There is a broad consensus in on the need to prevent Gaddafi from crushing the revolution in Benghazi, the Belgian parliament observed on Thursday. Belgium is ready to participate in the military action, but exactly in which way Belgium can contribute will be discussed this morning. Read here (French).
8:55 Reuters Norway will join the international military action against Gaddafi, the Norwegian defense minister is quoted to have said.
“We will contribute to the operation,” Grete Faremo told the daily Verdens Gang. “But it is too early to say exactly in what way. Sending air capabilities would be natural.” He mentioned both fighter aircraft and humanitarian operations requiring air support.
06:15 The Australian The Pentagon has prepared contingency plans for military action in Libya, including the imposition of a no-fly zone and strikes with Tomahawk cruise missiles, drones and ground-attack aircraft, but no troops.
A former senior Pentagon official warned that if the US decided to hit certain targets with Predator drones, it would have to be part of “a much broader context”. He said that Libya did not have many tanks, but destroying a few with the Predator’s Hellfire missiles would not end the violence.
The article also discusses the options available to the UK and France. Read the full analysis here
05:03 We were emailed by a young Canadian youth who has teamed with a few friends to create this wonderful video that infuses deep poetry and striking imagery. Please visit her Youtube page at Anwaro
04:41 Disturbing interview with a protester who was captured by Gaddafi’s security forces. He was subjected to merciless beatings, dragged by his genitals, electrocuted and much more.
04:00 AFP US President Barack Obama called the leaders of France and Britain Thursday to coordinate Libya strategy after the UN Security Council backed military action against Moamer Kadhafi’s forces.
03:24 Almanara Media Reports of demonstrations in Mezran Street and Omar Al Mukhtar street. In Bin Ashoor area, it is reported that some houses are giving out sweets and candy with some streets blocked with burning car tyres
03:15 Almanara Media Eyewitness have confirmed that demonstrations have broken out in Az Zawiya once more! Such resilience. Az Zawiya, we are humbled by your relentless in pursuing freedom.
03:02 Almanara Media reports from confirmed sources that demonstrations have erupted in Souq Al Jummah in Tripoli and that demonstrators are being shot at with live ammunition
02:53 The Guardian Germany’s foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, has declared the country remains strongly opposed to air strikes against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces or any other military intervention in Libya. Speaking to the Guardian, Westerwelle warned the results of western military intervention were “unpredictable” and could have consequences for freedom movements in the Arab world. Read full article here
02:38 CTV.ca Canada will contribute six CF-18 fighter jets to help enforce a no-fly zone in Libya, sources have told CTV News.
“The Canadian government has made the decision late today that Canada will send six CF-18 fighter jets to join the Americans, the British and the French and other countries that will participate in imposing a no-fly zone,” CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife reported Thursday.
02:29 The Security Council today effectively authorized the use of force in Libya to protect civilians from attack, specifically in the eastern city of Benghazi, which Colonel Muammar Al-Qadhafi has reportedly said he will storm tonight to end a revolt against his regime.
Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which provides for the use of force if needed, the Council adopted a resolution by 10 votes to zero, with five abstentions, authorizing Member States “to take all necessary measures… to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamhariya, including Benghazi, while excluding an occupation force.”
02:08 Wall Street Journal Egypt’s military has begun shipping arms over the border to Libyan rebels with Washington’s knowledge, U.S. and Libyan rebel officials said.
The shipments—mostly small arms such as assault rifles and ammunition—appear to be the first confirmed case of an outside government arming the rebel fighters. Those fighters have been losing ground for days in the face of a steady westward advance by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.