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Posted at 3:16 PM ET, 03/ 7/2011

Obama says military action against Libya possible; Gulf states call for no-fly zone in Libya

By Elizabeth Flock
Libyan rebel fighters take cover as a bomb dropped by an airforce fighter jet explodes near a checkpoint on the outskirts of the oil town of Ras Lanuf on March 7, 2011. (MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

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.)

LIBYA: 12:00 a.m. (EET), Tuesday / 5:00 p.m. (EST), Monday

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:

A rebel fighters fires an antiaircraft gun during an air strike in Ras Lanuf March 7, 2011. A rebel official said Moammar Gaddafi could attack oilfields like a "wounded wolf" if the West did not stop him with air strikes. (REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic)

Thanks for being with us today, and come back and visit us tomorrow for the latest updates.

LIBYA: 11:10 p.m. (EET) / 4:09 p.m. (EST), Monday

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!less than a minute ago via web

LIBYA: 10:45 p.m. (EET) / 3:45 p.m. (EST), Monday

Gulf states have called for a no-fly zone, Britain and France getting closer

United Arab Emirates' Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan gives a press conference after a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) Foreign ministers on March 7, 2011 in Abu Dhabi. (KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

LIBYA: 9:53 p.m. (EET) / 2:53 p.m. (EST), Monday

Updates from Libya

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.

Libyan Foreign Minister Mussa Kussa speaks during a press conference during which he said the United States, Britain and France are partners in "a conspiracy to divide Libya" by contacting opposition leaders in the east of the country on March 7, 2011 in Tripoli. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD TURKIA (Photo credit should read MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)

LIBYA: 8:22 p.m. (EET) / 1:22 p.m. (EST), Monday

Jordanian journalists demand press freedom

Thousands of Jordanians hold a giant national flag during a demonstration on March 4, 2011 in Amman to demand "regime reforms". (KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images)

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."

LIBYA: 7:55 p.m. (EET) / 12:55 p.m. (EST), Monday

Obama: Military action against Libya possible

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:

LIBYA: 6:02 p.m. (EET) / 12:02 p.m. (EST), Monday

EU, Japan to extend Libyan sanctions

European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger, left, and Hungary's Energy Minister Tamas Fellegi participate in a media conference regarding sanctions against Libya at the EU Council building in Brussels, Monday, Feb. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

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.

LIBYA: 5:55 p.m. (EET) / 11:55 a.m. (EST), Monday

Crisis mapping Libya

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.

Screen grab from Ushahidi

Click here to see OCHA's map of the humanitarian situation.

SPAIN: 5:07 p.m. (CET) / 11:07 a.m. (EST), Monday

Libya crisis pushes oil higher and Spain to lower speed limit

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:

BAHRAIN: 5:50 p.m. (AST) / 10:50 a.m. (EST), Monday

Hundreds protest outside U.S. embassy in Bahrain

Thousands of Bahraini anti-government protesters chant slogans as they circle outside Gudaibiya Palace in Manama, Bahrain, where the office of Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa is located, Sunday, March 6, 2011. (Hasan Jamali - AP)

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.

LIBYA: 5:50 p.m. (EET) / 10:50 a.m. (EST), Monday

Coastal town falls to Gaddafi troops

The coastal town of Bin Jawwad has fallen to Gaddafi's troops, the BBC reports. At least 12 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in the clashes, according to AFP.

If you haven't seen our map that tracks the major developments in Libya, check it out here.

LIBYA: 5:26 p.m. (EET) / 10:26 a.m. (EST), Monday

Former Libyan PM calls for talks

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: 3:30 p.m. (CET) / 9:30 a.m. (EST), Monday

Tunisia PM names new government

Pro-interim Government protesters are seen during a rally in Tunis, Tunisia, Saturday, March 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)

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.

LIBYA: 4:11 p.m. (EET) / 9:11 a.m. (EST), Monday

Bungled British special forces mission in eastern Libya was authorized

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:

LIBYA: 4:11 p.m. (EET) / 9:11 a.m. (EST), Monday

Government forces reportedly retake rebel-held city

A Libyan anti-government protester raises his country's old national flag in the eastern city of Benghazi on Febr. 27, 2011. Libyan protest leaders established a transitional "national council" in cities seized from Gaddafi. (PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

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.


GENEVA: 2:07 p.m. (CET) / 8:07 a.m. (EST), Monday

More than 213,000 migrants workers have fled Libya

Migrants line up on an Italian customs police boat March 6, 2011. Over 1,000 migrants from North Africa arrived in Italy overnight, some in rickety boats that had to be escorted ashore by the Italian coast guard. (AP Photo/Lapresse (MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

LIBYA: 2:48 p.m. (EET) / 7:48 a.m. (EST), Monday

Opposition says no room for talks with Gaddafi

A Libyan rebel fighter wearing his old national flag as a cape flashes the "victory" sign as he looks at an airforce fighter jet flying overhead at a checkpoint on the outskirts of the oil town of Ras Lanuf on March 7, 2011. (ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

LIBYA: 2:43 p.m. (EET) / 7:43 a.m. (EST), Monday

Lull in city after days of fierce fighting

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

LIBYA: 2:43 p.m. (EET) / 7:43 a.m. (EST), Monday

Other news from the weekend

Protesters shout near soldiers in front of the state security headquarters in downtown Cairo March 6, 2011. Men in plain clothes armed with swords and petrol bombs attacked protesters in Cairo on Sunday night during a demonstration demanding reform of security services with a reputation for brutality, witnesses said. (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

In Egypt, protesters stormed state security offices and a new cabinet was announced.

In Yemen, several members of the president's party resigned. The State department urged U.S. citizens to leave the country.

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.

By Elizabeth Flock  | March 7, 2011; 3:16 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Next: Muslim-Americans and congressional hearings: a witch hunt or a necessity?


Let the Italians handle it, it's their former colony.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 7, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, keep going, Barry, you're on your way to becoming George Worst II.

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | March 7, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Yeah- that's what we need to waste even more taxpayer money on DESTRUCTION than the $1.5+ TRILLION spent last year on defense and security - supposedly to protect us from racidal muslims living 3,500+ miles away in caves and huts.....the radical muslims are laughing heartily as America destroys itself from the inside....PARANOIA GONE WILD!


Posted by: ticked | March 7, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

It is painfully obvious that it was only at the urging of Britain, France, and Germany that Obama finally decided to agree to stop the murders of thousands of innocent people by the psychopath Ghaddafi.

American exceptionalism used to mean something. It was America that helped defeat the Nazis, ended facism and communism, freed Europe from the Russians, helped end famine in Somalia, genocide in Kosovo, the terror regime of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban, and worked to end conflicts and wars.

Unfortunately, as we have learned, America has a President who does not believe in American exceptionalism and would rather defer and procastinate. There will never be a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, a viable two State solution, unless America takes the lead but sadly, Obama would rather not bother. When America is asleep when oppression, brutality, and the murders of innocents occur the only sure thing is that these horrors will multiply and get worse.

Posted by: mjkoch* | March 7, 2011 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Keep the U. S. out of it. The Muslims will do what they do best. They prefer to kill Jews and Americans. But, if none are around, they kill each other. After we have left any Muslim country, they hate us.
Please read the Bible. It says not to go to war until you calculate the cost of it. We can't afford to even be in Iraq or Afghanistan. Eisenhower warned that our military-insustrial complex would urge us to be in wars. Get us out of the Middle East. Someone, please poll Americans and find what we want.

Posted by: hurleyvision | March 7, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

This is a civil war and probably with outside interference but only they can resolve it and our covert efforts usually make thing worse rather than better... we should not go into something we don't have a right to or an understanding of. It is quick sand...

Posted by: Wildthing1 | March 7, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

So the strategy is to wait until all the rebels are dead, and then send in the cavalry to back them up?

Posted by: hanley12 | March 7, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Great. More waste of American lives and funds we do not have. Brilliant! Is anyone in D.C. not on drugs?

Let them kill each other and give the US a break. I don't care. Do you

Posted by: sbeth1 | March 7, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

NO TROOPS IN OR ABOVE LIBYA...NONE! This nation has been nothing but a pimple on our tush since 1970. I don't care about one thimble-ful of Libyan soil or its rabble. NO TROOPS except to rescue or evacuate Americans who need it AND want it.

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | March 7, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Our president is spineless and will sit, twiddling his thumbs when decisive action is called for. Putting in place and enforcing a no-fly-zone over Libya can save tens of thousands of lives. We have abandoned any moral imperative to help the weak and powerless as we let the lunatic of the Sahara, the self anointed king of the African continent commit genocide upon the peoples of Libya.

Of course, he quietly approved the sale of armored personnel carriers to Libya a few months ago. Mr. President, are the blood stains of Pan Am Flight 103 beginning to appear on your palms too?

A spineless coward who wants to hide behind a coalition put in place by others so he can always claim that "it was not my idea".

Mr. President, we need your ideas, you need to uphold the ideals of our nation. What if no-one else was willing to provide us with any support during our revolution?

Posted by: Tishers | March 8, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

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