Rebels plead for help
The rebel forces say they will be outgunned if the government continues to unleash its air attacks on them and are pleading for the international community to impose a no-fly zone to prevent this.
"We don't want a foreign military intervention, but we do want a no-fly zone," rebel fighter Ali Suleiman told AP.
"We are all waiting for one,'' he said. The rebels can take on "the rockets and the tanks, but not Gaddafi's air force''.
The US president said on Monday that the US and its NATO allies were still considering a military response to the violence even as Britain and France were drafting a UN resolution that would establish a no-fly zone.
Barack Obama said the US will stand with the Libyan people as they face "unacceptable'' violence. He also sent a strong message to Gaddafi, saying he and his supporters will be held responsible for the violence there.
William Hague, the UK foreign minister, said Britain is "working closely with partners on a contingency basis on elements of a resolution on a no-fly zone".
However, a British diplomat at the UN clarified that the draft resolution is being prepared in case it is needed but no decision has been made to introduce it at the Security Council.
The Gulf Arab states on Monday said they back a UN-enforced no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians.
Hundreds if not thousands of people have died since Libya's uprising began on February 14 in an effort to end Gaddafi's more than 41-year rule, although tight restrictions on media make it near impossible to get an accurate number.
More than 200,000 people have fled the country, most of them foreign workers. The exodus is creating a humanitarian crisis across the border with Tunisia.
[A]ny military intervention on the ground by any foreign force would be met--as Mustafa Abud Al Jeleil, the former justice minister and head of the opposition-formed interim government, said--with fighting much harsher than what the mercenaries themselves have unleashed.Nor do I favor the possibility of a limited air strike for specific targets. This is a wholly popular revolution, the fuel to which has been the blood of the Libyan people. Libyans fought alone when Western countries were busy ignoring their revolution at the beginning, fearful of their interests in Libya. This is why I'd like the revolution to be ended by those who first started it: the people of Libya.
I, like most Libyans, believe that imposing a no-fly zone would be a good way to deal the regime a hard blow on many levels; it would cut the route of the mercenary convoys summoned from Africa, it would prevent Gaddafi from smuggling money and other assets, and most importantly, it would stop the regime from bombing weapons arsenals that many eyewitnesses have maintained contain chemical weapons; something that would unleash an unimaginable catastrophe, not to mention that his planes might actually carry such weapons.