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Monday, February 28, 2011

Breaking: US massing forces off Libyan coast

Israel Television's nightly newscast (which is simulcast on radio) is reporting that the United States is massing forces opposite Libya's coast and is saying that Muammar Gadhafi must leave Libya. All US citizens have been evacuated from Libya. But the US will not act unless the rebel forces invite them into Libya. The US is also preparing to enforce a no-fly zone.

Meanwhile, Gadhafi is claiming that all the Libyan people love him.

Tripoli continues to be under the control of the pro-Gadhafi forces.

In the last hour, Secretary of State Clinton has urged Gadhafi to step down.
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has said the government of Muammar Gaddafi must be held to account over atrocities committed in Libya as she reiterated calls for the leader to step down.

Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, Clinton said Gaddafi must leave power "now, without further violence or delay".

"Gaddafi and those around him must be held accountable for these acts, which violate international legal obligations and common decency," she said.

"We have seen Colonel Gaddafi's security forces open fire on peaceful protesters. They have used heavy weapons on unarmed civilians. Mercenaries and thugs have been turned loose to attack demonstrators."

Clinton said Washington was keeping "all options on the table" in terms of action against the government, and that a no-fly zone was "an option we are actively considering".

She also said two US humanitarian teams are being sent to Libya's borders with Egypt and Tunisia to provide aid to refugees fleeing the country.

Meanwhile, a Pentagon official said the US military was repositioning naval and air forces around Libya.

"We have planners working and various contingency plans and I think it's safe to say as part of that we're repositioning forces to be able to provide for that flexibility once decisions are made ... to be able to provide options and flexibility," Colonel David Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said.


Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from the eastern city of Benghazi, where the opposition is in control, said people there were opposing any possible foreign military invention but would welcome a no-fly zone.

"They say that would diminish the ability of the regime to bring in mercenaries from Africa, those mercenaries that the opposition accuse of fighting alongside government forces," she said.

"Also, they say a no-fly zone will safeguard the opposition in the sense that it would prevent any kind of aerial bombardment. That's one thing people here are very scared of."
End game?

The man in the picture with Hillary Clinton is Mutassim Gadhafi, the son of the Libyan leader who is in charge of Libya's military.

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