France, the United Kingdom, Qatar and the U.A.E. may carry out airstrikes on forces of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi early on Friday, shortly after the Security Council vote, Western media said.
The reports came as the UN Security Council gathers for a vote on a draft resolution, imposing a no-fly zone over the African state and authorizing all “necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians. The vote is expected at 22:00 GMT (1:00 Moscow time).
A senior government source told BBC that “British forces could be in action over Libya as early as Friday, if a UN resolution is agreed.”
France’s foreign minister headed Thursday to New York to press for action against Gaddafi.
Meanwhile, the Libyan leader said his forces would assault the opposition stronghold of Benghazi early on Friday.
“No more fear, no more hesitation, the moment of truth has come,” Guardian quoted Gaddafi as saying. “There will be no mercy. Our troops will be coming to Benghazi tonight.”
He also warned that any foreign military intervention in would put air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean area under threat.
Mass riots demanding the end of the regime of the country’s strongman, Muammar Gaddafi, have been raging in Libya since mid-February. On Thursday, Gaddafi said the confrontation between authorities and the rebellious opposition would end very soon.
PARIS, March 18 (RIA Novosti)