While the United Nations continues to debate the idea of implementing a no-fly zone over Libya, the rebels are calling for one urgently.
Considerably under armed they want to stop pro-Gaddafi forces from attacking them from the air.
But in the wider international community there is some hesitation. The Arab League is firmly against direct military intervention but they could consider a no-fly.
But US Defence Secretary Robert Gates is more openly reluctant.
“A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defences. That’s the way you do a no-fly zone. And then you can fly planes around the country and not worry about our guys being shot down.
Two US warships are now in the Mediterranean ostensibly in position to help support any humanitarian aid effort should the situation in Libya deteriorate. But a further ship, the aircraft carrier the USS Enterprise is also being deployed in the region.