Obama: US will help "enable" no-fly zone over Libya
President Barack Obama Friday said the United States would help by "enabling" European and Arab allies to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya in a bid to stop a brutal crackdown on anti- government forces in the country, dpa reported.
But Obama did not lay out exactly what military assets the United States would offer to the international military action. Britain, France and some Arab states have taken the lead in providing planes that can help enforce the no-fly zone, which was sanctioned Thursday night by the UN Security Council.
"We will provide the unique capabilities that we can bring to bear," Obama said. The US participation would be aimed at "enabling our European allies and Arab partners" to enforce the no-fly zone.
Obama said Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi could prevent the military action by agreeing to a ceasefire that "must be implemented immediately," including pulling troops back from rebel strongholds in the eastern part of the country.
Obama said Defence Secretary Robert Gates and the military leadership would coordinate the US efforts, while he announced that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton would travel to Paris for an international summit on Saturday to discuss the Libyan situation.
"American leadership is essential but that does not mean acting alone," Obama said in a speech from the White House.
Obama said the decision by the international community to take military action against Libya was driven by the "potential for mass murder of innocent civilians" by Gaddafi's regime.
But Obama made clear the United States would not be sending troops into Libya to help protect civilians.
"The United States is not going to deploy ground troops into Libya," Obama said.