An American and British proposal to set up a no-fly zone over Libya has triggered concern amongst world powers.
Turkey and Russia oppose any such move, while France argues UN Security Council approval is needed.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with US president Barack Obama earlier this week to discuss ways to deter further violence.
Details of the talks were not released but Ban has said that Gaddafi lost his legitimacy when he started killing his own people.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Congressional lawmakers on Tuesday that the country could descend into a “protracted civil war” and that the US was “taking no options off the table.”
“The entire region is changing and a strong and strategic American response is essential. In the years ahead, Libya could become a peaceful democracy or it could face protracted civil war, or it could descend into chaos,” said Clinton.
On Monday, Washington started moving warships and aircraft closer to Libya’s shores, fuelling speculation of a planned military operation.