Just hours away for first air strikes by joined forces from UK, France, US and Arab nations.

Libya: UN security council backs no-fly zone and air strikes

(Guardian) – The vote late Thursday was 10-0 with five abstentions, including Russia and China.

British, French and US military aircraft are preparing to protect the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi after the United Nations security council voted in favour of a no-fly zone and air strikes against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

With Gaddafi’s troops closing in on Benghazi, the French prime minister, Francois Fillon, said “time is of the essence” and that France would support military action set to take place within hours.

Jets could take off from French military bases along the Mediterranean coast, about 750 miles from Libya. Several Arab countries would join the operation.

“Any foreign military act against Libya will expose all air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea to danger and civilian and military (facilities) will become targets of Libya’s counter-attack,” said the statement  broadcast on Libyan television and distributed by the official news agency JANA.

The Libyan remarks came as the the United States wants the United Nations to authorize not just a no-fly zone to aid Libyan rebels but also air strikes against Libyan tanks and heavy artillery, according to US officials.

UN security council resolution 1973 (2011) on Libya – full text

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

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