A day after the United Nations approved a no-fly zone over Libya and military interventions to halt attacks on civilians, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Americans will participate in military actions against forces loyal to the dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
The president specified that unless there is a cease-fire now and Gaddafi leaves, the U.S. would begin helping “our European allies” enforce the no-fly zone “through military action.”
Generally that entails a bombing campaign to eliminate air power. President Obama specified that “the United States is not going to deploy ground troops into Libya,” adding that France and the U.K. would take lead on the mission, with the U.S. providing “capabilities” to enhance their forces.
Though a “cease fire” was declared in the country after the U.N. resolutions passed, it did not immediately stop the violence. In fresh fighting today, at least 28 civilians were confirmed dead across Libya according to CNN, with hundreds more wounded.
“If the world is crazy, we will be crazy too,” Gaddafi said during a Thursday interview with a Portuguese news station. “We will make their lives hell, if they are making our lives hell too.”
Gaddafi further claimed the U.N. had “no mandate” to intervene, insisting the charter did not allow for intervention in domestic affairs.
The U.N. Security Council vote to approve action against Gaddafi and his forces passed unanimously. Russia and China abstained from passing ballots.
Image credit: Libyan protester’s sign, via AFP.