Sarkozy announces start of military intervention in Libya

Western planes flying over Libya to prevent gov't attacks; French president says military action could stop if Gaddafi halts attacks; Obama, in Brazil, says people of Libya must be protected.

By REUTERS
March 19, 2011 18:33
3 minute read.
Sarkozy speaks with Clinton and Cameron in Paris.

sarkozy cameron clinton_311 reuters. (photo credit: REUTERS/Lionel Bonaventure)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

PARIS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Western air forces, with Arab League approval, had gone into action on Saturday over Libya and were preventing Muammar Gaddafi's forces attacking the rebel city of Benghazi.

"As of now, our planes are preventing air attacks on the city of Benghazi," he said adding that military action supported by France, Britain, the United States and Canada and backed by Arab nations could be halted if Gaddafi stopped his forces attacking. French planes were also ready to strike Libyan tanks.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Gaddafi defies West, continues attacks ahead of summit
Libyan rebels: Gaddafi's forces attacking Benghazi

"It's a grave decision we've had to take," Sarkozy said after meeting in Paris with world leaders on how to coordinate a military intervention in Libya.

"Along with our Arab, European and North American partners, France has decided to play its part before history."

Sarkozy said of the meeting: "Those taking part agreed to put in place all necessary means, especially military, to enforce the decisions of the United Nations Security Council.

"This is why, in agreement with our partners, our air forces will counter any aggression by Colonel Gaddafi's aircraft against the population of Benghazi," he said.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


"As of now, other French aircraft are ready to intervene against armored vehicles which threaten unarmed civilians."

US President Barack Obama, speaking in Brasilia on Saturday warned Gaddafi that the international community would act with urgency to shield Libyan rebels from his aggression unless the violence was stopped.

"Our consensus was strong and our resolve is clear. The people of Libya must be protected and in the absence of an immediate end to the violence against civilians, our coalition is prepared to act and act with urgency," he said during a joint appearance with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who opposes military action, was also present and said afterwards that Berlin also agreed that violence in Libya must end.

Sarkozy, briefing reporters but taking no questions, said: "Colonel Gaddafi has scorned our warnings. In the past few hours his forces have intensified their murderous offensive."

Click for full Jpost coverage of 
turmoil in the Middle East

"The Libyan people need our aid and support. It's our duty," Sarkozy said.

"In Libya, a peaceful civilian population that is seeking only to be able to choose its own destiny has found itself in mortal danger. It's our duty to respond to their appeal," he said.

"Today we are intervening in Libya under the UN mandate with our partners and notably our Arab partners. We are doing it to protect the civilian population from the murderous madness of a regime that in killing its own people has lost all legitimacy.

"There is still time for Colonel Gaddafi to avoid the worst, by acting without delay and without reservations in accordance with all the demands of the international community. The door of international diplomacy will open again the moment attacks end."

British Prime Minister David Cameron, also speaking after the meeting, said Gaddafi has broken the ceasefire and will face urgent action to prevent more civilian deaths.

"Colonel Gaddafi has made this happen. He has lied to the international community, he has promised a ceasefire, he has broken that ceasefire," Cameron told British television reporters after the meeting of international leaders in Paris.

"He continues to brutalize his own people and so the time for action has come. It needs to be urgent, we have to enforce the will of the United Nations and we cannot allow the slaughter of civilians to continue."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

A general view of the attack during the military parade in Ahvaz, Iran, 2018
September 22, 2018
Iran regime fears foreign support for minority groups after attack

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN