March 17, 2011
UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council on Thursday approved a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from attacks by Moammar Gadhafi’s forces. The action came as the Libyan leader was poised to make a final push against rebels holding out in Bengazhi, Libya’s second largest city. The vote in the 15-member council was 10-0 with five abstentions, including Russia and China. The United States, France and Britain had pushed for speedy approval. French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said if the resolution was approved, France would support military action against Gadhafi within hours. The U.S. said it was preparing for action. Several Arab nations were expected to provide backup. Gadhafi vowed to launch a final assault on Benghazi and crush the rebellion as his forces advanced toward the city and warplanes bombed its airport Thursday.