A call by Arab countries for the UN to impose a no-fly zone over Libya has won backing from the United States.
Washington described the declaration as an “important step” although the US stopped short of commitment to any military action.
The Arab League’s head said “serious crimes and great violations” by the Gaddafi regime against Libyans had stripped it of legitimacy.
“It is for the Security Council to take decisions as it see fits,” Amr Moussa told reporters, after the organisation’s meeting in Cairo.
“What we did in the Arab League is make an official request to impose a no-fly zone on military activities against the Libyan people.”
Events on the ground are moving more quickly than international diplomacy.
Pro-Gaddafi troops have pushed insurgents out of the strategic oil town of Ras Lanuf. And, as the rebels retreated, forces loyal to Libya’s leader launched a fierce assault on the city of Misrata where the opposition is heavily outgunned.
The only joy for insurgents perhaps are reports of a mutiny near Misrata and the defection of 32 of the Colonel’s soldiers.