March 7th, 2011
05:30 PM ET

Gadhafi launches airstrikes as civil war rages in Libya

CNN Wire Staff

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) - Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi took aim at the rebel-controlled town of Ras Lanuf Monday, launching aerial strikes as part of an assault aimed at crushing the uprising against him.

At the end of the third week of unrest - protests began February 15 - Gadhafi's aerial forces targeted the main road heading into the oil town after launching another air strike earlier, five kilometers southeast of the city.

In what has turned into a civil war, members of the opposition fired anti-aircraft guns toward Gadhafi's planes.

Some families fled Ras Lanuf, hoping to escape the violence that has engulfed some of the country's most populous areas.

Meanwhile, U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague said "there are credible reports of the use of helicopter gunships against civilians by government forces."

Three members of the U.N. Security Council - France, Britain, and the United States - were working Monday on a possible resolution that would include language on a no-fly zone over Libya, diplomatic sources at the United Nations said.

But any kind of military intervention could face sharp criticism from Russia and China, two permanent members of the council that wield veto power.

U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday he had a "very clear message to those who are around Col. Gadhafi: It is their choice to make how they operate moving forward and they will be held accountable for whatever violence continues to take place there."

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Hassan Tripoli

    In Libya situation is very danger there is no school and life especially in around Tripoli area Qudafi and his forces kill any one trying to go out he want to sty in Libya he said he has not power but he lair please do not believe him please or any his helper.
    Thank you.

    March 7, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  2. audrey papke

    Missed your program while babysitting.

    Great news reporting! A sad situation . . .

    The no-fly zone – more serious consideration of – was mentioned today. A good thing. It was done in Iraq. Otherwise, Gadhafi will slaughter at will.

    I find it beyond repulsive and cruel he would hang a college student – on campus. And the UN did nothing . . . I wonder what motivated the public hanging(s)? His son did not receive an A grade? Another student stated something about Gadhafi in front of one of his sons? Gadhafi is not college material and abhores educated people who realize what goes on in the country – the corruption and all.

    Audrey Papke

    March 7, 2011 at 8:17 pm |