By Ria Novosti
Washington’s ambassador to the UN has said the UN Security Council should consider not just a no-fly zone over Libya but also the aerial bombing of forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.
Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi are advancing on rebel-held territories in the east of the war-ravaged country. The rebels say they fear genocide without swift UN action.
“The U.S. view is that we need to be prepared to contemplate steps that include but perhaps go beyond a no-fly zone, at this point, as the situation on the ground has evolved and as a no-fly zone has inherent limitations in terms of protection of civilians at immediate risk,” Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters in New York.
She said the United States would be pushing for an early vote on a draft resolution, backed by the United States, Britain, France and Germany.
But diplomats say its controversial wording authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect civilians – which some interpret as code for military action including air strikes – means it is unclear if it could be put to a vote on Thursday.
Russia is against all military intervention in Libya. Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin put forward a counter-resolution calling for a cease-fire but it fell though.
Gaddafi’s forces say they gained control of the strategic town of Ajdabiya on Tuesday, the last town before the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, but the rebels are denying this.
One of Gaddafi’s sons, Saif al-Islam, said on Wednesday the army would capture Benghazi in 48 hours.