West and Arab world unanimously back assault on Libya

EU powers are now falling into line confirming their commitment to the operation against pro-Gaddafi forces in Libya.

­Italy has offered several of its airbases just across the Mediterranean to the additional NATO forces in the region.

The Arab states Qatar, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates said they do back the no-fly zone over Libyan airspace and that Arab states will be playing a key support role.

Other nations are also expressing their support, such as Norway, Netherlands and Belgium. Canada says its fighter jets are in the region and ready to be deployed within two days.

Western leaders say they are behind Operation Odyssey Dawn, including British Prime Minister David Cameron. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she backs the military intervention – despite her country’s abstention of the UN vote for the no-fly zone and refusal to send its forces to participate in the operation.

France is the most active in enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya, with some 20 Rafael and Mirage fighter jets barraging Libyan airspace on the air superiority mission, in effect grounding Gaddafi’s jets and helicopters.

Their major concern is the area of Benghazi and the whole of eastern Libya where the rebel stronghold is.

The decision to take direct action to enforce the Libyan no-fly zone was thrashed out at a summit in Paris, just hours before the first strikes on Saturday. The summit was attended by the heads of the UN, the Arab League, and several foreign ministers of Arab nations, like Morocco and the UAE.

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