Obama says military action against Libya possible; Gulf states call for no-fly zone in Libya
As demonstrations continue around the Middle East, we keep you updated on the developing situation. Use this map to keep up with the events in Libya and this map to keep up with all of the demonstrations, day by day.
We'll be marking time in Eastern Standard Time. Tunisia is six hours ahead, Egypt and Libya are seven hours ahead, Yemen and Iraq are eight hours ahead, and Oman is nine hours ahead. (See World Clock here.)
We sign off for the night after a day of what may have been the fiercest attacks by Gaddafi's forces yet, which included bombings of the oil terminal of Ras Lanuf and battles to maintain control of a Mediterranean coastal town farther west, according to the opposition.
Here's a photo from Ras Lanuf Monday:
Thanks for being with us today, and come back and visit us tomorrow for the latest updates.
Al Jazeera's Web site is down. One Libyan citizen tweeted:
Can someone check if Aljazeera English website is still work? I can't access it!
Gulf states have called for a no-fly zone to be imposed in Libya, Reuters reported. They also called for an urgent Arab League meeting to discuss the situation in Libya, according to a statement released by their foreign ministers.
Britain and France could put a resolution to the U.N. Security Council this week demanding a no-fly zone over Libya, AFP reported.
Answering questions in Parliament, Foreign Secretary William Hague confirmed that Britain was working to draft a UN resolution on a no-fly zone over Libya but said it must have regional support and a "clear legal basis".
"There should be a demonstrable need that the whole world can see. There must be a clear legal basis for such a no-fly zone, and there must be clear support from the region, from the Middle East region, from the North African region as well as from the people of Libya themselves," he said.
Read Hague's full remarks to Parliament on the Libya crisis, in which he addressed the bungled special forces visit and a no-fly zone, here.
Rebels are fleeing the central oil town of Ras Lanuf after Gaddafi troops advanced, the Independent reported. The town has changed hands three times in the past nine days.
Moammar Gaddafi's son Saadi said Libya would descend into civil war if his father stepped down, Al Arabiya television said on Monday, according to Reuters. Saadi also told the Arabic satellite channel Libya would turn into a new Somalia and that the country's tribes would fight against each other.
NATO has launched 24-hour air surveillance of Libya with AWACS reconnaissance aircraft Monday, Arabic television channel Al Arabiya reported. The surveillance is part of the military alliance plans for potential steps to address Libya's violent unrest.
Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Kusa has said that by contacting rebel groups, the U.S., Britain and France are engaged in "a conspiracy to divide Libya", AFP reported.
In the first protest of its kind in Jordan, journalists from state-controlled media demonstrated Monday for press freedom, Joel Greenberg reported.
They also demanded the ouster of the editor-in-chief of the main government-controlled newspaper, Al-Rai. About 200 journalists from official and independent media rallied near the paper's headquarters.
"We're fed up, we've reached the point where there's no turning back," said Amer Smadi, a veteran broadcaster currently with state radio and formerly a news anchor on Jordanian television. "We have nothing to fear now. I've been waiting to say this all my life."
Speaking after a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, President Barack Obama said the U.S. and its NATO allies are still considering a military response to violence in Libya. WATCH:
European Union member states are set to extend sanctions imposed on Libya to include the Libyan Investment Authority, a $70 billion sovereign wealth fund with major European investments, according to Reuters.
Japan is set to impose sanctions on Gaddafi, his family and associates in keeping with last week's U.N. Security Council resolution, the Kyodo news agency has reported, according to BBC. The sanctions would be approved by the cabinet on Tuesday, a government source was quoted as saying.
A Libya crisis map that tracks social media, news reports and official situation reports from within Libya and along the borders has been made public. The map was created by the Standby Volunteer Task Force, a team of volunteers who are on standby to do crisis mapping, and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Click here to see the full map.
Click here to see OCHA's map of the humanitarian situation.
The crisis in Libya again pushed oil higher as the New York Mercantile Exchange opened for trading Monday, with oil nearing $107 a barrel and gasoline about $3.50 per gallon. The crisis also spurred Spain, already struggling with a financial crisis, to lower the maximum highway speed limit from 120 kph (75 mph) to 110 kph (68 mph).
What's the possibility that the Obama administration will tap into emergency oil reserves? WATCH:
Hundreds of members of Bahrain's Shiite Muslim majority protested outside the U.S. Embassy in Manama Monday. The protesters called for Washington to back their campaign for greater political freedom and claimed that Washington is showing less support for Bahrain's revolt than it did for the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.
If you haven't seen our map that tracks the major developments in Libya, check it out here.
A former Libyan prime minister appeared on the state-controlled television station and called for negotiations to end the weeks-long uprising.
Jadallah Azous Al-Talhi, who was prime minister in the 1980s, appealed to elders in this rebel-controlled city, asking them for a national dialogue to end the bloodshed. At the same time, opposition sources said the regime had made private overtures about launching negotiations.
Jalal el Gallal, a spokesman with the opposition in Benghazi, said a Gaddafi representative has reached out to the Transitional National Council, but the council has refused to deal with him. "They've been asking for contact but the council has refused," Gallal said.
Mohamed Fanoush, a member of the Benghazi city council who is allied with the opposition, also said overtures from Gaddafi's regime had been rejected out of hand. "The answer was there will be no negotiations as long as you are killing Libyans," Fanoush said.
Tunisia's prime minister has named a new government after a spate of resignations and the ouster of longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January.
Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi kept the heads of the key defense, interior, justice and foreign-affairs ministries. He named new figures to six posts vacated last week. Essebsi himself was named just a week ago.
He said on his Web site Monday that the new appointments have been approved by the interim president.
U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague personally authorized the bungled special forces mission in rebel-held eastern Libya, the British government confirmed, according to BBC.
The eight man special forces team had been sent on a diplomatic mission to help the opposition but ended up being held captive by them for more than two days. A diplomat's plea for their release was broadcast on state television.
Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman said: "We have been very clear that we are seeking to establish contact with opposition figures, and we will continue to do so... It is our intention to send in a further team in due course to better understand the position on the ground."
Watch the diplomat's plea for their release:
Correspondent Steve Hendrix was in the rebel-held town of Ras Lanuf on Monday. He left as the town was about to come under attack from pro-Gaddafi forces, and filed this report from Benghazi, still under opposition control:
After halting the westward march of revolutionary fighters Sunday, government forces pushed them back even further on Monday, attacking and reportedly retaking the rebel's forward base of Ras Lanuf.
Families and hospital personnel who had stayed during days of fighting around Ras Lanuf evacuated early Monday, after warnings that forces loyal to Moammar Gaddafi were preparing to attack.
More than 213,000 migrant workers have fled Libya's violence and hundreds of thousands more are expected to follow during the next three months, aid officials said Monday. Officials sought at least $160 million in emergency help for the exodus.
As part of the emergency appeal to be formally announced later Monday by the United Nations, one intergovernmental organization estimated that the aid needed for the 65,000 migrant workers attempting to leave Libya was $49.2 million, a spokeswoman for the organization said.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he's deeply concerned about the plight of the many migrant workers and civilians, especially in the western part of the country that includes Gaddafi's stronghold in the capital, Tripoli.
The U.N. is sending a humanitarian assessment team to Tripoli, a request that was agreed to by Musa Kusa, the Libyan foreign minister.
The rebel National Libyan Council said Monday that there was no room for broad dialogue with the government of Moammar Gaddafi and insisted that reconciliation talks can take place only if he cedes power, Reuters reported.
The council, which speaks for mostly eastern areas controlled by the Gaddafi opposition, made clear its position after state television, tightly controlled by the Libyan leader, broadcast an address calling for talks.
Jadallah Azous Al-Talhi, a prime minister in the 1980s who is originally from eastern Libya, appeared on state television calling on elders in the rebel city of Benghazi for national dialogue to end the bloodshed. The opposition told Reuters that the fact that state television broadcast Talhi's appeal indicated that it was officially endorsed.
There was fierce fighting Sunday in Misurata, located between Tripoli, the capital, and Gaddafi's hometown Sirte, with a rebel spokesman saying 21 opposition fighters and civilians had been killed.
The ferocity of the attacks dashed rebel hopes of putting a swift end to Gaddafi's 41-year-long rule and suggested the nation was plunging deeper into a civil war.
Today, there appears to be a lull in the fighting, our correspondent Anthony Faiola reported from Tunis.
Mohamad Sanusi, 44, said Misurata was quiet, and burying its dead.
"Young people are out cleaning the streets, some are checking passersby, and we are preparing for any situation," he said. "Some of the shops are open but most are closed. ... Today there will be more funerals in the city of those who died as martyrs in the battle."
Libyan Youth Movement, a rebel group that opposes Gaddafi's rule, continues to update the map they call "Mapping Violence Against Pro-Democracy Protests in Libya." The reports that contributed to this map have not been independently verified by the Post.
The group says they created the map by compiling reports from their 'trusted accounts' on Twitter.
View Mapping Violence Against Pro-Democracy Protests in Libya in a larger map
In Bahrain, Shiite protesters attempted to block access to the prime minister's office and demanded his resignation.In Saudi Arabia, the government introduced a ban on all demonstrations and security forces arrested more than 20 people who took part in protests.
| March 7, 2011; 3:16 PM ET
Categories: The Daily Catch
Save & Share: Previous: Andy Carvin: The Middle East revolutions one tweet at a time
Next: Muslim-Americans and congressional hearings: a witch hunt or a necessity?
Posted by: jckdoors | March 7, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: TalkingHead1 | March 7, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ticked | March 7, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mjkoch* | March 7, 2011 5:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: hurleyvision | March 7, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Wildthing1 | March 7, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: hanley12 | March 7, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: sbeth1 | March 7, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: PanhandleWilly | March 7, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Tishers | March 8, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse