16:15 ET: Things are quieting down after a day of protests across the Middle East. Anti-Qaddafi forces control most of Libya, but the Colonel isn’t giving up.Most foreign nationals are by now evacuated.
Today saw huge protests in Libya, Iraq, Bahrain, Tunisia, Egypt and
Yemen. More protests will probably happen tomorrow.15:06 ET Malta: Americans evacuated from Libya are disembarking.
Al Jazeera suggests this may be a watershed moment for the State Department, which has now shut its embassy and made a reasonable effort to evacuate all Americans. Now it may become a military operation.
14:39 ET Washington: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says they are preparing targeted sanctions, but he refuses to specify what sanctions or when.
Carney says never has a international response happened this quickly.
Carney refuses to say Qaddafi must leave. “It is a matter for the people of Libya to decide… but the people of Libya have expressed that his continued use of violence… are totally unacceptable.”
14:34 ET LIBYA: Saif Qaddafi is expected to give a statement soon. His last statement was bizarre and rambling, like his father’s.
11:53 ET LIBYA: Qaddafi gave a surprise appearance at a presumably rare pro-Qaddafi rally in Tripoli.
He told supporters: “We will continue to fight. We will defeat them.”
“Life with out green banners is not worth living.”
“You the youth be comfortable at any place in the streets, squares, dance sing, stay up all night, live a life of dignity with high morals. Muammar Qaddafi is one of you!”
By the way, reports of the Colonel’s death were exaggerated.
10:52 ET LIBYA: Nick Kristof tweets: “security forces apparently entered Suq Juma in Tripoli in unmarked car, started shooting protesters. Poss 5 dead.”
10:36 ET LIBYA: 50,000 protesters are marching on Tripoli.
10 ET LIBYA: Another military base has sided with the protester. Activists claim they will soon control everything but the bunker where Qaddafi is holed up.
9:50 ET GENEVA: Libya’s diplomats to the UN have said they represent the people and not the regime.
9:10 ET LIBYA: There’s an unconfirmed and possibly unreliable report from DEBKA that “hundreds of U.S., British and French military advisors have arrived in Cyrenica, Libya’s eastern breakaway province.”
DEBKA also claims that Qaddafi’s entire airforce has defected.
9:00 ET LIBYA: An army base in Tajoora just declared support for the protesters.
BACKGROUND: Today is probably the biggest day of Pan-Arab protest yet. There are protests in:
IRAQ: At least seven have been killed in a Day Of Rage. Protesters threw stones and shoes at riot police in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square.
BAHRAIN: Thousands gather for the twelfth day of anti-government protest and the biggest yet.
EGYPT: Thousands fill Tahrir Square. They demand the end of emergency law, release of political prisoners and civilian representation in the government.
YEMEN: Thousands protesting here too.
New York Times reporter Nick Kristof tweets: “Maybe I should start over and list places NOT having demonstrations today. Hmm. Antarctica?”
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