France, Norway Will Join Military Intervention in Libya

Published on Friday 18th March 2011

France and Norway say they will join the international military intervention in Libya after the United Nations Security Council authorized a no-fly zone over the country.French government spokesman Francois Baroin and Norweigian Defense Minister Grete Faremo announced their countries' participation Friday. French diplomatic sources say international military action would come "within hours" to stop forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi from hurting civilians.Meanwhile, pro-Gadhafi forces bombarded the western rebel-held town town of Misrata Friday, as NATO envoys in Brussels discussed ways to enforce the U.N. Security Council resolution.Ten council members voted in favor of the resolution Thursday and no country voted against it.  Five members - Brazil, China, Germany, India, and Russia - abstained. The resolution authorized U.N. members to take "all necessary measures" to protect civilians, including a ban on all flights over Libya. Those measure are likely to include targeted air strikes on Libya's military defenses.Gadhafi has warned the rebels to surrender or face an imminent attack. He said his forces will show no mercy and dismissed the resolution as worthless.
The United States has started plans for enforcing the no-fly zone. Italy is offering the use of its Sigonella air base on Sicily, and Canada has announced it will send six fighter jets to the region.U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, announced after the vote that Gadhafi has lost his legitimacy.  She added there is no justification for his continued leadership. French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said his government supports military action against Libya as quickly as possible. Despite Gadhafi's remarks about the U.N. resolution, Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaaim said Libya wold react "positively" to the measure and is willing to guarantee protection for civilians.Thursday's resolution also stresses the need to find solution to the Libyan crisis that responds to the "legitimate demands" of the Libyan people.  It calls for stronger enforcement of an arms embargo against Libya and adds more names and companies to those subject to an asset freeze.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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