Libya: West ready to use force against Col Gaddafi amid chemical weapon fears
The Prime Minister [David Cameron] disclosed that he would not rule out “the use of military assets” as Britain “must not tolerate this regime using military forces against its own people”. Britain and America are also thought to be considering arming rebel forces in Libya.
Adding to growing concern about the crumbling regime’s ability to commit last desperate acts of mass murder, British sources have disclosed that Libya still has stocks of mustard gas chemicals. Mr Cameron told MPs that Britain and its allies were considering using fighter jets to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, patrolling and shooting down Libyan aircraft ordered to attack protesters.
The Pentagon announced that the Americans had begun “repositioning forces” around Libya to provide “flexibility”. The French also announced that they would back a possible military intervention with Nato partners. Despite a promise in 2003 to give up weapons of mass destruction, Gaddafi is thought to have retained as much as 14 tons of the chemicals required to create mustard gas.
Mustapha Gheriani, a spokesman for an organising committee of lawyers, judges and professionals in Benghazi, the leading city of the revolution, said: “We can’t protect ourselves at the moment from tanks and aircraft, let alone organise a march on Tripoli to topple Gaddafi.