TRIPOLI - US warships will pass through the Suez Canal on Wednesday on their way to Libya as Western nations put more pressure on Muammar Gaddafi to stop a violent crackdown and step aside.
The United States said Libya could sink into civil war unless Gaddafi quits amid fears that the uprising, the bloodiest against long-serving rulers in the Middle East, could cause a humanitarian crisis.
Gaddafi remained defiant and his son, Saif al-Islam, warned the West against launching military action. "We are ready, we are not afraid."
He added that the veteran ruler would not step down or go into exile.