Military Confrontation with Muammar Gaddafi’s Regime Considered

Benghazi and Misrata is reported to have been bombed by the Gaddafi regime. The Gaddafi-Libyan Air Force is flying predominantly Russian-made MIGs and helicopter gunships.

The Libyan Navy is also reported by DEBKAfile to have bombarded the city of Benghazi.

The US deployed naval and air force units near Libya, as United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron ordered contingency plans for Britain to assist in enforcing a no-fly zone. The Libyan Navy is a small navy with a few missile frigates, corvettes and patrol boats to defend the coastline, but with a very limited self-defence capability

DEBKAfile is reporting that military steps are being considered to break a standoff between Libya and rebels. The conflict involves the rebel capture of the cities of Misrata and Zawiya, which are in turn surrounded by Gaddafi-loyal Libyan troops.

The USS Enterprise from the Red Sea and the amphibious USS Kearsarge, which has a fleet of helicopters and about 1,800 Marines aboard with units capable of covert action behind enemy lines, are deployed near Libya.

France sent two aircraft carriers with medical and humanitarian supplies to Benghazi, Libya.

British defense secretary, Liam Fox, discussed the possibility of a no-fly zone with the Nato secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, but Rasmussen has said repeatedly that there would be no Nato involvement without UN Security Council approval.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen is a Danish politician, and the 12th and current Secretary General of NATO. As Prime Minister, Rasmussen strongly supported the 2003 Iraq War. Rasmussen has described the controversy of the Mohammed cartoons as Denmark’s worst international crisis since World War II. He was quoted, saying, later, that he “was deeply distressed that the cartoons were seen by many Muslims as an attempt by Denmark to mark and insult or behave disrespectfully towards Islam or Mohammed.”

DEBKAfile US weighs hit-and-run raids to disable Qaddafi’s air capability