As fierce fighting intensifies between government and Libyan rebel forces there’s been a growing momentum for some kind of international military intervention.
An earlier euphoria by the rebels as they easily made ground against pro-Gaddafi militias has given way to the reality of coming up against superior troop numbers who are better equipped.
In the east, war planes launched air strikes on the rebel held oil terminal town of Ras Lanuf
Arab Gulf states have now added their support for a UN backed no fly-zone, so too have France and Britain. Rebel calls for protection from the skies are growing.
But the US is reluctant – nothing is to be done without international approval and President Obama has said follow up troops on the ground is not high on his list of options.
With Libyan government forces advancing on Ras Lanuf, residents began fleeing and opposition fighters were said to be hiding weapons in the desert.
The resilience of Gaddafi’s troops and their ability to counter-attack has raised the prospect of prolonged bloodshed.
There are reports that the rebel’s so called “Interim Council” has rejected Gaddafi’s alleged proposal to quit if he and other family members can leave Libya with their wealth intact because it would have been an honourable exit for him.