LIBYA -- March 12, 2011 at 5:10 PM EDT
Arab League Backs No-Fly Zone in Libya
On Saturday, the 22-nation Arab League asked the U.N. Security Council to implement a no-fly zone in Libya to prevent Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces from more air attacks on the Libyan people.
Never noted for moving decisively, the League's swift action was surprising, as was the overwhelming vote. All but two League members -- Syria and Algeria-- backed the call. It had been foreshadowed by a statement last week from the Gulf states.
Amr Moussa, the group's secretary general, said a no-fly zone would protect ordinary people and that should end as soon as Libya's crisis was over.
"Our one goal is to protect the civilian population in Libya after what has been reported of attacks and casualties in a very bloody situation," he said, according to The New York Times.
The move could put more pressure on the Obama administration and NATO nations to act quickly. Up to now, the western powers had said they could not act without Arab League backing. Now they have it.