12:36 ET: Qaddafi’s son Saif Al-Islam says the time has come for full-scale military action against the rebels, in an interview with Reuters:”It’s time for liberation. It’s time for action. We are moving now.”
“We will never ever give up. We will never ever surrender. This is our country. We fight here in Libya. The Libyan people, we will never ever welcome NATO, we will never ever welcome Americans here. Libya is not a piece of cake.”
12:15 ET: Hillary Clinton expressed reservations about a no-fly zone, but she said the decision was up to the international community. This time around it may counties like France that lead the drive to war.
Also Clinton says she will go to Egypt and Tunisia next week.
11:27 ET: Now the U.S. has suspend relations with the Libyan embassy, according to the AP.
9:08 ET: France’s Sarkozy will propose targeted airstrikes in Libya when he meets with EU leaders tomorrow, sources tell the AFP.
5:15 ET: France says Libya’s rebel national council is the only legitimate representative of the country.
EARLIER: Qaddafi’s forces are escalating the war again, attacking the critical eastern city of Ras Lanuf for the first time with warships and ground forces, according to Al Jazeera. Aerial bombardment of civilians and energy infrastructure continues as well.
Just yesterday it seemed that Qaddafi was avoiding ground battle in Ras Lanuf while pursuing behind the scenes negotiations. Not anymore.
Meanwhile the rebel offenseive continues on the western front toward Tripoli.
We’ll be updating through the day.
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