Arab League approves no-fly zone in Libya. But is it too late?
The US and UK expressed support for the Arab League's approval of a no-fly zone as Libyan rebels beat a hasty eastward retreat from forces loyal to Col. Muammar Qaddafi.
• A daily summary of global reports on security issues.Skip to next paragraph
Israeli general hints at another Gaza campaign
Unclaimed attack on Islamic school raises tension in Nigeria
See no evil? Activists doubt credibility of Arab League mission to Syria.
Arab League observers head to Syria's war-ravaged Homs
Christmas church bombings put global spotlight on 'Nigerian Taliban' (VIDEO)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
The United States and United Kingdom expressed their approval of the Arab League's call Saturday for a United Nations no-fly zone over Libya. But despite the League's request, it remains unclear how effective a no-fly zone over Libya might be as Libyan rebels continue to lose key cities and towns to Col. Muammar Qadaffi's forces.
Agence France-Presse reports that Libyan rebels fled the oil town of Brega Sunday, as Colonel Qadaffi's forces continued to advance toward the rebel-held city of Benghazi in the east. AFP notes that the rebels' morale had been bolstered by the Arab League's call for a no-fly zone, which came before the retreat from Brega. (See map.)
"The international community is unified in sending a clear message that the violence in Libya must stop, and that the Qaddafi regime must be held accountable," the administration said in a statement.
Britain also welcomed the League's statement.
"Clearly this is one indicator that there is broad support in that region," he said. "It's not the only condition. It's also necessary to have even broader international support and it's also necessary for it to be clearly legal."
Reuters notes that it is still unclear how Russia and China will respond to the Arab League's request. Both countries hold seats on the UN Security Council and are traditionally loath to involve themselves in what they consider other nations' domestic issues.