March 7th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

NATO starts 24/7 surveillance of Libya

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - NATO has launched around-the-clock surveillance flights of Libya as it considers various options for dealing with escalating violence in the war-torn country, America's ambassador to the organization told reporters Monday.

Representatives of key Western powers also highlighted the possibility of establishing a no-fly zone in Libya - part of growing campaign to break strongman Moammar Gadhafi's grip on power.

British, French and U.S. officials were working on a draft text that includes language on a no-fly zone, diplomatic sources at the United Nations told CNN.

The language in the text will deal with triggers rather than timelines for taking such a step, one diplomat noted. If gross violations of human rights are committed, the diplomat added, the elements of the text could be quickly turned into a resolution.

Any resolution on military intervention in Libya, however, would be subject to a vote by the 15 members of the U.N. Security Council. Such intervention could face sharp criticism from Russia and China, who rarely approve of such measures.

"The violence that's been taking place and perpetrated by the government in Libya is unacceptable," U.S. President Barack Obama said at the White House. Moammar Gadhafi's government "will be held accountable for whatever violence continues to take place there."

Obama stressed that NATO is considering a wide range of responses - including military options - for dealing with the crisis.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney later cited three potential responses under active consideration: establishing the no-fly zone, military-backed humanitarian aid, and stronger enforcement of the U.N. arms embargo.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    OK fine, but where will they be permitted to go!?
    If it leads, as seems possible, to a quick
    decision to impose a no fly zone with UN, NATO and other support especially the Libyan revolutionary Council so much the better but Russia is opposed to any no fly zone and could veto UN and perhaps Nato resolutions.
    The rest of the so called active consideration items are counter productive in my opinion in the short and medium term. No fly zone then protect via the Uprising council the Oil fields, and direct the income to the Uprising council via UN resolutions taking into account the fields owners cost/profit and/Ports of shipment /pipelines at reasonable price.

    March 7, 2011 at 11:26 pm |