News / USA

US Consulting Allies on Military Options for Dealing with Libya

Libyan citizens queue outside a bank to get cash, in Benghazi, Libya
Libyan citizens queue outside a bank to get cash, in Benghazi, Libya

The United States says it is consulting allies about military options for dealing with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's deadly crackdown on opposition forces trying to end his 42-year autocratic rule.

U.S. officials said Monday "all options" are under consideration, including the imposition of a no-fly zone to prevent Mr. Gadhafi's air force from staging further attacks on rebels who control eastern Libya and parts of the west.  British Prime Minister David Cameron said London also is working on a plan for a no-fly zone over Libya.

U.S. commanders said they were moving naval and air forces closer to Libya to provide the Obama administration with options for carrying out humanitarian or other missions.

The U.S. State Department said Washington has been in contact with Libyan opposition groups in recent days to understand their needs and concerns.  But, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said it is "premature" to discuss military assistance to the opposition while its various factions try to become more organized.

The United States also was increasing financial pressure on Mr. Gadhafi's government, freezing $30 billion in his family's U.S.-based assets following the imposition of unilateral sanctions last week.  A U.S. Treasury official said the asset freeze is the largest ever to be approved by the U.S. government in a single executive order.

The United States and its Western allies want Mr. Gadhafi to step down immediately, saying he has lost legitimacy after his forces killed hundreds of opposition protesters and military defectors in the two-week-old uprising.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Washington would support Mr. Gadhafi going into exile if such a move hastens his departure, but believes the Libyan ruler and his aides must be held accountable for their actions, regardless.

U.S. President Barack Obama telephoned Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Monday to thank him for joining the United States in adopting tough sanctions against Mr. Gadhafi's government.  Canada announced a series of sanctions Sunday, including an asset freeze on the Libyan leader and his relatives.

The White House said Mr. Obama and Mr. Harper agreed on a need to deter further violence by Mr. Gadhafi's forces, hold him and others accountable for human rights violations and provide humanitarian assistance to the Libyan people.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington is allocating $10 million in emergency aid to organizations on the ground in Libya.  Speaking on a visit to Geneva, she said the United States also is sending two humanitarian teams to help thousands of displaced people at Libya's borders with Tunisia and Egypt.

The European Union also agreed to a package of sanctions against Mr. Gadhafi Monday, reinforcing measures adopted by the U.N. Security Council last week.

Despite his increasing international isolation, the Libyan leader won some rare diplomatic support Monday from a longtime ally in Latin America.  Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he will not condemn Mr. Gadhafi, and accused the United States of preparing to invade Libya to steal its oil.

In another development, the U.S. State Department said Mr. Gadhafi's government has fired its ambassador to Washington, Ali Aujali, who defected to the Libyan opposition last week.  State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said Libya informed Washington that it is replacing Aujali with a chargé d'affaires who is a Gadhafi loyalist.

Crowley said Washington is maintaining diplomatic relations with Libya in order to keep the option of communicating directly with Mr. Gadhafi's government.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

800-Pound Man Determined to Slim Down

Man says he was kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza; wants to be an actor More

Australia Prepares to Resettle 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Preference will be given to refugees from persecuted minorities, and the first group is expected to arrive before late December More

S. African Miners Seek Class Action Suit Against Gold Mines

The estimated 100,000 say say they contracted the lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in the mines More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs