Qatar will join efforts to stop Libyan bloodshed - source

Gulf state welcomes UN resolution to curb attacks by troops loyal to Libyan leader Gaddafi
Qatar will join efforts to stop Libyan bloodshed - source
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 18 Mar 2011 01:31 PM

Qatar said on Friday it welcomed the UN Security Council's resolution on Libya and would take part in the international efforts to stop the bloodshed.

The gulf state's official news agency reported that Qatar was "looking forward" to seeing a prompt enforcement of the UN's recommendation.

Citing a source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, QNA said Qatar has decided to take part in the international efforts aiming to stop the bloodshed and protect the civilians in Libya.

The source confirmed that Qatar respected the choices of the Libyan people and its legitimate right to a peaceful living.

Earlier, the United Nations authorised military strikes to curb Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, hours after he threatened to storm the rebel bastion of Benghazi overnight, showing "no mercy, no pity".

"We will come. House by house, room by room," Gaddafi said in a radio address to the eastern city late on Thursday.

Al Jazeera television showed thousands of people listening to the speech in a central Benghazi square, then erupting in celebration after the UN vote, waving anti-Gaddafi tricolours and chanting defiance of the man who has ruled for four decades.

Fireworks burst over the city and gunfire rang out.

The UN Security Council, meeting in emergency session, passed a resolution endorsing a no-fly zone to halt government troops now around 100km from Benghazi. It also authorised "all necessary measures" - code for military action - to protect civilians against Gaddafi's forces.

But time was clearly running short for the city that has been the heart of Libya's month-old revolution.

French diplomatic sources said military action could follow within hours, and could include France, Britain and possibly the United States and one or more Arab states; but a US military official said no immediate US action was expected.

While other countries or NATO may play roles in military action, US officials expect the United States with its extensive air and sea forces would do the heavy lifting in a campaign that may include airstrikes on tanks and artillery.

Gaddafi warned Benghazi that only those who lay down their arms before his advancing troops would be spared the vengeance awaiting 'rats and dogs'.

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