NATO said on Friday that it bombed eight Libyan warships in overnight air strikes on Tripoli, Al-Hums and Sirte. The alliance said the attacks only hit military targets.
A Libyan government spokesman suggested it was a ploy to scare off international shipping firms.
The bombings come after US President Barack Obama said Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s depature from power was inevitable.
His whereabouts are unknown. The Libyan leader has only made fleeting appearances on his country’s state broadcaster over the past few weeks.
The rebels control eastern Libya but also some pockets of the west. The three-month-old conflict appears to have reached a stalemate as rebel efforts to advance and take Gaddafi’s stronghold, the capital Tripoli, have stalled.