The UN just recently passed Resolution 1973 on Libya essentially a resolution which allows UN members to protect the civilians of Libya at-all costs. 10 nations of the UN accepted the resolution while 5 nations abstained which included China (PRC), Russia, Brazil, India and Germany. – While the 10 nations which agreed to the resolution included countries such as France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy and Canada; to which end others have recently joined in upcoming events. The 22 member, Arab League or The League of Arab States have also supported the resolution further backing calls on defending the civilian population of Libya.
France (19/03/2011) was the first to enforce the no-fly zone, to which it flew sorties and reports have come back stating that they had bombed armoured vehicles, of which consisted of tanks and armoured personnel carriers approaching or outside of Benghazi. – A besieged city under rebel control of which reports state was being bombarded by artillery and mortar fire according to some sources. Then according to some other reports we have heard that at least 110 Tomahawk missiles have been fired into Libya which have hit anti-air (AA) installations and according to further reports from the BBC we have heard that a building owned by Gaddaffi was recently hit by a missile.
Furthermore Secretary Robert Gates of the United States has cancelled his visit to Russia. He has stated that a no-fly zone will only work if you take out the anti-air (AA) infrastructure around Libya so as to make it so that French or other NATO/UN members jets do not get shot down.
A blockade by Royal Navy (RN) ships and by the United States Navy (USN) was enacted on the day the resolution passed. Updates to this are that the USS Enterprise and the Charles de Gaulle are on the way to the Libyan coast to further provide a faster reactionary force.
We have seen images of Libyan fighter jets apparently controlled by rebel forces being shot down. We have also seen images of tanks on the outskirts of Benghazi which appear to be Russian Soviet-era tanks with possible upgrades made to them. According to some reputable sources these may have come under attack by French fighter-bombers jets on 19/03/2011 when the UN resolution passed.
Libyan government officials announced a ceasefire in light of the UN resolution 24 hours it had been passed. The western attacks have come to criticism from the African Union, Russia, China and India.
22/03/2011 – An American F-15E fighter jet has crashed over Libya after what was called mechanical failure as the cause by the US military. The jet crashed after on the third day of no fly zone being enforced and Resolution 1973 coming into action. This aircraft was based in England and flew to Italy to fly sorties deep into Libyan territory against Gadafi’s forces. The airman have been recovered and are now in US hands again. The first pilot was rescued within hours by a twin rotor aircraft which can land vertically like a helicopter called the V-22 Osprey. The second pilot was taken into rebel-Libyan hands where it was said he was treated with “respect and dignity” then later on given to the US.
26/03/2011 – Libya situation update. David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister has stated that the Libyan air force has been destroyed and that the western coalition have full air superiority. A Libyan military radar site in Tajoura has also been seen on fire speculated to have been bombed by western aircraft. President Barack Obama has also given firm communication that he does not want the US to take the lead in Libya. – Though US assets are heavily involved. NATO has also been involved and is taking in the lead in ensuring the no-fly zone under UN resolution 1973. They have appointed Canadian general (Charles Bouchard) to oversee the no-fly zone and arms embargo in Libya.
28/03/2011 – Al Jazeera has reported that Sirte a key district has been taken over by rebel forces. Sirte the birthplace of Libyian leader Muammar Gaddafi is a key location which leads to the capitol, Tripoli. It is located between Benghazi and Tripoli. It is reported that the road from Sirte to Tripoli could be used by rebels to take Tripoli. In recent days the rebels or anti-Gaddafi forces have taken back Bin Jawad, Ras Lanuf, Brega and Uqayla. It is said that western air power has managed to halt any advance by pro-Gaddafi forces whom not so long ago stated that they could recapture Benghazi within 2 days. NATO and western forces have claimed they have not bombed Gaddafi forces in support of a rebel advance.
29/03/2011 – President Obama gave a speech and a update on the Libyan situation. He said that the US took the lead and would now hand over lead responsibility to NATO who have agreed to take the lead role in commanding operations in Libya. – As in our last situation update on the 26/03/2011. He cited that the reason western allies had gone into Libya was for a humanitarian cause since Gaddafi had threatened his population. This followed on to him saying that Gaddafi had blocked resources such as water to hundreds of thousands of his population.
President Obama also gave an answer to those who say why the US and western powers cannot intervene in other countries. He said “It’s true, America cannot use it’s military wherever it wants” and then went onto say, “but that cannot be an argument for never acting on behalf of what’s right”. He then said “We were faced on a prospect of violence on a horrific scale, we had a unique ability to stop that violence … and support from Arab countries and a plea from the Libyan people themselves…”.
31/03/2011 – Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa has resigned according to the British Foreign Office.³ He landed at Farnborough Airport yesterday and said to the Foreign Office that he was resigning from his post. As a top official for Gaddafi’s regime he represented Libya abroad. This is a significant action by the ex-Foreign Minister as it shows from even within Gaddafi’s regime, people are defecting at the top level as well.
The rebels have been pushed back and have been forced to retreat from Brega. Oil ports at Ras Lanuf and Bin Jawad have also been abandoned. To the west of Libya, Misrata is under attack by Gaddafi troops. There have been media sources around the globe questioning whether or not western powers would arm the Libyan rebels.
02/04/2011 – NATO stated that it would not arm Libyan rebels. The BBC¹ reports that an air strike by western/coalition forces has killed Libyan rebels on the outskirts of Brega.
The western forces opened fire on the convoy of 5 rebel vehicles destroying them all. It was not after a string of anti-air gunfire was lighting up the sky, which was later thought to have been celebratory gunfire, as opposed to attacks on coalition aircraft.
A Libyan government official has additionally denied a ceasefire offer by the rebels. Moussa Ibrahim a spokesperson for the Libyan government dismissed the idea as mad. The main focus for the ceasefire agreement was for Gaddafi and his sons to leave the country.
According to a report from a doctor in Zawia el Argobe, a Libyan government convoy was opened fire on. He stated that an ammunition truck had been hit by coalition air power which caused shrapnel to hit a nearby house. The BBC reports that four civilian females and 6 children were killed aged from 12-20. Nato has stated they are making inquires into the matter.
04/04/2011 – Today William Hague the Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State announced that the British government is not considering arming Libyan rebels with lethal weapons. However stated that communication equipment could be supplied to the rebels at some point.