The U.N. Security Council authorized a no-fly zone over Libya and called for Arab states and others to use "all necessary measures" to protect civilians from attacks by Moammar Gadhafi's forces.
The resolution passed 10-0 with five abstentions, including Russia, China, Germany, India and Brazil.
The resolution establishes "a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" while excluding an occupation force. It also calls for freezing the assets of the Libyan National Oil Corp. and the central bank because of links to Gadhafi.
The U.N. vote paved the way for possible international airstrikes on Gadhafi's advancing military and reflected the past week's swift reversal of the situation in Libya, where once-confident rebels are now in danger of being obliterated by an overpowering pro-Gadhafi force using rockets, artillery, tanks, warplanes. That force has advanced along the Mediterranean coast aiming to recapture the rebel-held eastern half of Libya.
After the vote, Libyan officials said the country would protect its
own people and said a cease-fire was possible. They called for a
fact-finding mission to investigate protests and said any foreign
government that arms rebels are inviting Libyans to kill each other. (FULL ARTICLE CONTINUED HERE)