David Cameron last night vowed he has not ruled out ‘the use of military assets’ in Britain’s fight to free Libya
Amid growing concerns over the ability of Gaddafi’s crumbling regime to commit mass murder, David Cameron has promised to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and shipment of arms to the Colonel’s enemies.
America has also begun repositioning forces round Libya to provide support, with the French announcing that they would back a possible military intervention with Nato partners.
Ruling Libya for the past 41 years, Colonel Gaddafi has so far maintained power over the capital, but has already lost control of the eastern half of the country since protests demanding his resignation began two weeks ago.
The British government has stepped up in response to the disclosure that Libya has retained as much as 14 tons of mustard gas chemicals, despite a promise in 2003 to give up all weapons of mass destruction.
The disclosure came after a spokesperson for Gaddafi warned that there would be thousands of deaths if the country descended in to civil war. If the no-fly zone is issued over Libya, western governments may launch bombing raids on Gaddafi’s forces.
Libyan opponents are appealing for Nato air strikes amid growing fears that they are too weak to overwhelm his still-powerful military. ‘We can’t protect ourselves at the moment from tanks and aircraft, let a lone organize a march to topple Gaddafi,’ says Mustapha Gheriani, a spokesman from Benghazi, the leading city of the revolution.
‘If there are just a few air strikes, his loyalists will leave him and his time will be numbered in hours,’ he says. ‘Otherwise he could survive for a long time and there could be terrible bloodshed.’
The Prime Minister insists: ‘If Col Gaddafi uses military force against his own people; the world cannot stand by. That is why we should be looking at a no fly zone.’ He continued by stating Gaddafi’s departure was Britain’s highest priority adding: ‘If helping the opposition would somehow bring that about, it is certainly something we should be considering.’
Do you think Cameron is right to threaten military force against Gaddafi? Will our involvement only add to the bloodshed, or would we be wrong to stand by and watch? Let us know your thoughts by posting a comment below.