Obama warns Gadhafi to comply with UN resolution or face military attack
Obama sets stage for military action (NBC Nightly News, March 18, 2011) – President Obama warned Libya’s Muammar Khaddafy that if he doesn’t stop attacks on opposition forces now, he’ll face the consequences including military action. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports. (03:39)
NBC News, The Associated Press, and Reuters via MSNBC
March 18, 2011
TRIPOLI, Libya — NATO allies meeting in Brussels were drawing up plans to enforce a United Nations resolution authorizing military action to prevent the killing of Libyan civilians Friday as Western leaders delivered an ultimatum to Moammar Gadhafi.
Fighting continued Friday in Libya despite the government’s declaration of a cease-fire to comply after the U.N. resolution passed a day earlier.
President Barack Obama and other Western leaders said military response would be swift if Gadhafi forces continue attacking protesters trying to end his 42-year rule.
Explosions and anti-aircraft fire were reported late Friday in the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi, but government officials insisted Gadhafi troops were not violating the U.N. resolution passed a day earlier.
A U.S. national security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Libyan troops were advancing on Benghazi. He called the movements “purposeful,” based on official reporting reaching U.S. national security agencies in Washington. …
Earlier, the United States, Britain and France — backed by unspecified Arab countries — said a cease-fire must begin “immediately” in Libya, the French presidential palace said.
The statement called on Gadhafi to end his troops’ advance toward Benghazi and pull them out of Misrata, Adjadbiya and Zawiya. It also called for the restoration of water, electricity and gas services in all areas. It said Libya’s population must be able to receive humanitarian aid.
“This is not negotiable,” the statement said.
The statement echoed an earlier warning Friday by President Barack Obama, who said that if the Libyan leader did not stand down the United States would join in military action against him.
“All attacks against all civilians must stop,” Obama said.
“These terms are not subject to negotiation. If Gadhafi does not comply with the resolution, the international community will impose consequences.”
Obama said the United States would not deploy ground troops in Libya or use force beyond protecting people. …
Related reports on this site
What does it take to impose a no-fly zone? (MSNBC, March 18, 2011) – Colonel Jack Jacobs, MSNBC military analyst, explains what it means militarily to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. (05:49)
Libya No-Fly Zone, Airstrikes Imminent (March 17, 2011)
Libyan Rebels Advance on Tripoli (March 5, 2011)
Gadhafi Steers Libya to Civil War (Feb. 22, 2011)
Deadly Crackdown in Libya (Feb. 20, 2011)
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Photo: Paul Sancya / AP
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