Cameron says No Fly Zone has had an “early and and good effect”

MARCH 23RD UPDATES – This post is being constantly updated
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Guardian14:36 Guardian Cameron said the no-fly zone has had “an early and good effect” in terms of forcing Gaddafi’s forces back from Benghazi and protecting civilians. He added:

Clearly there is great concern about what the regime is doing in Misrata, and any idea that their second ceasefire was any more meaningful than the first ceasefire we can see is complete nonsense.

Quizzed by Miliband about whether or not Gaddafi himself was viewed as a possible target – the source of apparent differences earlier this week between the government and military – Cameron said that all actions would be in line with the UN resolution, adding:

All targets should be in line with that, but I don’t propose to give a running commentary on targets, or frankly to say anything beyond that.

Reuters14:25 Reuters reports that the air strikes reported at Misrata hit a base for pro-Gaddafi forces south of the city.

Sky News14:24 Sky News report that NATO warships are now patrolling the Libyan coast in order to enforce the arms embargo, according to AP.

14:19 Iyad El-Baghdadi writes that Gaddafi’s Zintan reinforcements have been coming from the Faris Brigade, normally stationed in Sabha & the south.

BBC14:12 BBC British Prime Minister David Cameron says Kuwait and Jordan will make a logistical contribution to the Libyan effort. He says there’s great concern about what’s happening in Misrata.

Reuters13:55 Reuters Zintan resident, quoted by Reuters: “Gaddafi’s brigades started bombardment from the northern area half an hour ago… The town is completely surrounded… They are getting reinforcements. Troops backed with tanks and vehicles are coming. We appeal to the allied forces to come and protect civilians.”

Guardian13:52 The Guardian Tom Kington on the USS Kearsarge has another update from last night’s operations:

Four US Harrier jump jets flew bombing missions from an Navy vessel off the Libyan coast on Tuesday night as coalition forces continued attempts to dislodge Libyan forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.

The Harriers, armed with GPU 12 laser guided bombs, took off from the USS Kearsarge at 11pm local time, returning at 2am before aircraft refuelled and took of for a second sortie.
The Kearsarge’s group of six Harriers attacked targets outside Benghazi on Sunday morning and near Ajdabiya on Sunday night, hitting tanks, artillery pieces and mobile missile launchers.

Officials did not reveal Tuesday night’s targets, but Libyan government forces were reportedly continue to shell rebels in Ajdabiya, suggesting they remain a viable target for coalition aircraft.

Marine Colonel Mark Desens, who commands the Harriers, said that flying the vertical take-off jets from the Kearsarge gave them an advantage over conventional jets flying from airbases further away from Libya. “With the Harriers we can turn them around very quickly and do two sorties a night,” he said.

BBC13:44 BBC A resident in the western, rebel-held city of Zintan has told Reuters that pro-Gaddafi forces have resumed bombardment there.

Al Jazeera13:40 Al Jazeera 14 people were killed in Misrata overnight and 23 people were injured. Al Jazeera’s James Bays says:

Gaddafi’s forces now taken over hospital in the town, and have positioned snipers on the roof and tanks outside. The rebels are calling for a hospital ship to be sent in, as they still control the port, and say that would save many lives, as they now have nowhere to take their injured.

More civilian deaths have been reported in Ajdabiya and elsewhere, and they calling on international powers to interpret the UN resolution more widely to support them.

A doctor speaking to AFP puts the death toll at 17, including 5 children.

Al Jazeera13:37 Al Jazeera The Libyan transitional council has taken the step of calling themselves an “interim government”. They had been wary of using the words before, as it would seem to signify a split in the country. “But they remain committed to one Libya,” James says. “They want the people of Libya to remain united, just without Gaddafi.”

Heading up the new government is Mahmoud Jibril, who had been working as a representative to foreign powers, including meeting France’s Nicolas Sarkozy – which led to France diplomatically recognising the transitional council as the sole representative of the Libyan people.

13:34 The Guardian have put up a video of Gaddafi’s speech yesterday, in which he said that “the assault… is by a bunch of fascists who will end up in the dustbin of history.”

AFP13:26 The UN‘s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says there is “grave concern” for civilians in the areas of heavy fighting. It says medical needs are on the rise and that in addition to the 335,600 people who have fled Libya in recent weeks, there are reports that some 80,000 people have been displaced within the country. In Misrata, locals say the situation is “critical”.

13:21 Dovenews writes that 3 people have been killed in Zintan today, and 9 people were injured. He also writes that 9 of Gaddafi’s forces were killed in coalition strikes on a military base in Tripoli and that coalition strikes reportedly hit a bus with Gaddafi’s forces in Zintan.

Reuters12:49 Reuters Western coalition aircraft have launched two strikes on an area of the rebel-held city of Misrata where forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi are based, a resident told Reuters on Wednesday.

“The allied planes bombed twice so far. At 12:45 (2245 GMT) this morning and then again less than two hours ago,” the resident, called Saadoun, told Reuters by telephone from Misrata. “They (pro-Gaddafi forces) haven’t fired a single artillery (round) since the air strike.

BBC12:21 BBC Gen David Petraeus, who’s commanding US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, there was a discussion over whether “intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets” in use there would be needed in Libya, Reuters reports. “But in the end there have been no assets taken from the effort in Afghanistan and I don’t foresee that happening at this point in time,” he says.

12:20 Al Jazeera‘s report on the battle near Ajdabiya:

AFP12:14 AFP quotes an unnamed diplomat as saying the EU is to impose sanctions on Libya’s national oil company, NOC.

11:35 The Arabist have a new Libya Dispatch, about the informal food network that fuels the struggle and how twinkies and snikcers are tied to experiencing freedom. Please read it here

AFP11:25 AP A Nato official says the alliance’s warships will begin patrolling off Libya on Wednesday, AP reports. And diplomats say agreement is gradually emerging about how Nato can assume responsibility for enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya.

Al Jazeera11:19 Al Jazeera Scholars at Al Azhar University have condemned the US-led bombing and aerial strikes, but have said that the institution (seen as Egypts highest Islamic authority) supports “the legitimate demands of the Libyan people’s revolution”.

BBC11:15 BBC Sweden is the latest country to freeze $1.6 billion of Gaddafi’s assets. They said it was “not impossible” there could be more. it emerged on Tuesday that Libya had declared gold reserves worth more than $6bn at current prices. The gold could potentially be used by Col Gaddafi while his flow from oil sales and other trade is cut off due to fighting and international sanctions.

Guardian10:58 The Guardian‘s Chris McGreal says:
There continues to be a lot of incoming shelling from Gaddafi side against the rebels – if anything it is more intense this morning, suggesting Gaddafi forces, far from being broken by the airstrikes, might actually be being resupplied and reinforced.

The situation is unclear but certainly at the moment it seems the rebels are on the back foot – they’re just sitting and waiting, taking the shelling. The bursts of artillery are not very accurate, but periodically the shells do kill or injure someone.

The shells come in waves, around every 20-30 minutes, and the effect is to say the least very unnerving for the rebels, a lot of whom have pulled back from the frontline. There’s now a few hundred up at the front, but a few kilometres back are several thousand more.

07:22 Al Jazeera English AFP reporter Dave Clark (left), photographer Roberto Schmidt (right) and Getty Images photographer Joe Raedle(centre) arrive at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli, after they were released by the Libyan authorities earlier today. Four Al Jazeera journalists and crew are still being held in Libya.

07:11 BBC CNN’s Nic Robertson tweets: “Two attacks in Tripoli loud explosions twice in early hours, about 5.30am and 6.15am local, targets not immediately clear… Explosions sound like coming from western side of city, large military base in that direction. Sound of fighter jets heard also… Early morning raids draw limited anti-aircraft response.”

MSNBC06:48 CNN Andersoon Cooper interviews a man in Misratah who explains the violence and fear that the residents are living through. From tanks to snipers stationed on rooftops.

06:02 BBC The Pentagon says that of Tuesday, the US military had flown 212 aerial missions over Libya, while 124 had been flown by other coalition forces. A total of 108 air strikes had been carried out and 162 Tomahawk missiles had been fired, it adds.

05:30 Reuters Explosions have been heard in the capital Tripoli says a Reuters witness

04:09 Juan Cole (Informed Comment) Here are the differences between George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the current United Nations action in Libya:

1. The action in Libya was authorized by the United Nations Security Council. That in Iraq was not. By the UN Charter, military action after 1945 should either come as self-defense or with UNSC authorization. Most countries in the world are signatories to the charter and bound by its provisions.

2. The Libyan people had risen up and thrown off the Qaddafi regime, with some 80-90 percent of the country having gone out of his hands before he started having tank commanders fire shells into peaceful crowds. It was this vast majority of the Libyan people that demanded the UN no-fly zone. In 2002-3 there was no similar popular movement against Saddam Hussein.

Read the remaining 8 points in Juan’s website

03:45 NPR A reporter who lost his life trying to tell the world about what Moammar Gadhafi’s forces were doing to the people of Libya is remembered today on All Things Considered.

NPR: Mohammed Nabbous

NPR’s Andy Carvin talks about Mohammed Nabbous, a man he came to know via the Web in the past month as Nabbous used his Libya al Hurra (“freedom”) Livestream news channel to record some remarkable accounts of what was happening in Benghazi and elsewhere in eastern Libya. Read full article here

03:25 DIRECT from Misratah: A bright red glow can be seen in the area of southern Misratah right now. It seems that the coalition forces have targeted an ammunition dump in that area

03:18 Channel 4 Frustrations of a TV presenter in Libya

02:54 World Food Programme WFP is stepping up provision of food to hungry people crossing Libya’s borders, while at the same time working to coordinate and strengthen logistics and telecoms for the humanitarian community as a whole.

Read the article and make a donation here

Associated Press02:38 AFP Three journalists including two AFP employees who had been held by Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s forces since the weekend have been released in Tripoli, an AFP journalist said early Wednesday.

02:24 The Guardian Adam Tarbah, Second secretary to Libya’s delegation to the UN: My colleagues and I defected from the Libyan mission to the UN to draw attention to Gaddafi’s attacks on unarmed protesters

I am almost the same age as Gaddafi’s regime. I was born in 1968, a year before Gaddafi came to power.

The regime in Libya is built on the safety and security of Gaddafi himself. Every aspect of Libyans’ lives revolves around him and no one dares to question his orders.

Living in that sort of situation for so long you tend to go with the flow just to be able to achieve basic goals in your life. I joined the Libyan foreign ministry since it included opportunities for self-development: the chance of being posted abroad, of being exposed to other cultures and societies, and of trying to change some stereotypes about Libyans.

But once the uprising occurred, the scene changed and mixed emotions and feelings emerged; feelings of anxiety, doubt, fear and even hope…

Read the article here

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11 Responses to Cameron says No Fly Zone has had an “early and and good effect”

  1. Christine says:

    I just finished reading an article in The Guardian by Adam Tarbah, Second secretary to Libya’s delegation to the UN and really quite pleased with everything that he has stated. Very clear, very concise and very important as he speaks out also in behalf of those who have been misled by the ‘master deceiver’ Gadaffi (and his son Saif).
    I just hope that other Libyan’s who is still in support of him may also realise what Mr. Tarbah was able to see and understand about the weave of lies and terror that has ruled Libya in the past forty two years.

    • Pan Am Flight 103 One reason we should be trying to get Gaddafi … or you could just save a lot of money and send the message to DICKtators like him it’s ok to Bomb us … kill our police women because we dont want our taxes used to bring you to justice .

  2. ankhwashitaw says:

    I kindof take offense to that (informed comment) thing….Seems there is some educational bias mission creep in your revoution. No matter, those are not the things to be settled by violence or to deter what’s happening.
    I want to say that I really like the way you’ve responded in terms of racheting up the positive coverage of your cause….I do however have one thing bothering me…Your rep says he is going to honor every previous oil deal…Shows neediness and desperation…”We are going to honor every honorable oil deal,” means we need your help, but not at the cost of our self-respect…..Or else, why the fight…………Jalu(O) Avoid the tanks…………..

  3. ankhwashitaw says:

    Also, you have to keep an eye on those tanks coming back from Jalu(o) coming back and cutting off the road….Did I say that before. Now I’ve said it twice.

  4. Brooster says:

    OK>>> Maybe I’m just one Stupid Yankee Capitalist. Imperialist Whatever… What has the difference between Libya and Iraq have to do with anything. Some people are trying to get you to take the focus off your current issue… which is SAVING YOURSELVES from a Brutal Prick and a Son Of A Prick who are trying to KILL YOU. You wanna get back in the game here? You wanna win? Focus . Focus on the real stuff, and don’r worry about the BS. Leave that to the panderin politicos. Get back to the people who are loosing there blood out there for you! What is more important?

    • Admin says:

      Hey Brooster,

      Thanks for your comment first and foremost and I take the comments you mention onboard. We most definitely have not lost focus, I guarantee you that. The big slip that we feel would be extremely damaging is focusing too much on what the planes above Libya are doing and making the issue about air strikes and tomahawks all the time, hence why we’re really doing our best in keeping this website as big a voice for what’s happening on the ground as possible. Translations and news directly from the people will always be a priority.

      We clearly and fully realise that this struggle belongs to the Libyans, and we felt that the Libya/Iraq comparison brought forward some interesting and valid points, albeit in a different light.

      Hope that clarifies things a little =)

      Regards and thanks for your comment

  5. ankhwashitaw says:

    The doctors without borders want to come in…….They of course come with various agendas besides taking care of wounded, but I think it might be time to let them in as you have with the press. The momentum is yours……………………….You’ve got your representatives established and they can’t confuse the issue the way they might have in the early days………………Be vigilant with who and what comes and goes…Your question is do you leave a door open for the mercenaries to escape, or do you hold them accountable in their entirety and force them to fight to the death………..If it were me, I’d let the obvious young draftees go south, while the more hardened would face their well deserved justice………..

  6. Abu Nusaibah says:

    Assalamu alaikum
    Jazkaum Allahu khaira for this great site. May Allah bring us His victory soon, and bring down Gaddafi with severe punishment

  7. HamidReza says:

    Qaddafi is history – he will flee soon. If a couple of his tanks are hit by airstrike in Misrata or Zintan, he will have no choice but to flee to Zimbabwe.

    However, Libyan democracy is very precious. Do not lose Libyan democracy to Islamists who wish to turn Libya into another Gaza strip or Iran and terminate freedom and democracy. Do not let Islamists amass all the RPGs and guns. That is what happened in Iran.

  8. ankhwashitaw says:

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/
    This colonel in this video needs to be replaced. Apparently to much time being a well heeled officer in Gaddafi’s army has left him without the creativity and sense of pride to adjust and adapt to his situation. He seems to quietly resent that after years of being on the wrong side, they don’t trus him enough to follow his directives………And the rebels are starting to look a lot younger, which means that the fight has taken an arduous toll on the more mature men. He should do his d-amned job and come up with a viable plan to take those tanks out. He should give instructions to each and every person like it was his own life that was on the line. And he should shyyytttt or get off the pot before he finds himself boots up in the shifting sands of the desert. And you can tell him that is the bottom line…….

  9. As I worked in Libya for nearly 7 year i met lot of good people over there.Some are very very nice.They became my good friends whom I still remember.Last year I wrote letter to my friend Salem Abuzazia which returnned.I dont know how my friends are.But Sirte being Gaddafi’s place will be liberated last.They are safe but they can not participitate in revolt of people.I pray that Gaddafi’s brutal regime go.He had fooled his people for past 42 years and looted Libyan wealth.His children also are doing same.Let good people of Libya has real democratic government.Friens, Whol world is with you Arvind Srivastava Ex Elect. engineer Power and Desalination Plant Sirte