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Deep divisions mark Libyan air campaign

Deep divisions mark Libyan air campaign
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NATO member countries remain deeply divided over the scope, nature and command of the Western air campaign.

Turkey says the coalition has already gone beyond the UN framework. It wants a humanitarian operation in Libya under UN control.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Turkey would never be on the side of those pointing weapons at the Libyan people. He has spoken by telephone to US President Obama, who is trying to shore up participation and clear up confusion about who is in control.

In the heart of Europe, coalition cracks appear to be deepening. France says NATO must not lead because it would alienate Arab counties. Italy has threatened to take back control of airbases it has authorised for use unless a NATO coordination structure is agreed.

As expected, Spain’s parliament overwhelmingly approved the decision to take part in the coalition enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya. But pacifists in the public gallery shouted anti-war slogans before being led from the chamber.