Obama: U.S. Involvement in Libya Action Would Last 'Days, Not Weeks'


World Preparing for Military Action Against Libya

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet with the Emir of Qatar Saturday. Qatar and the UAE, and possibly Jordan, are expected to lend their jets to any military action. A European diplomat said that barring major developments on the ground prior to the meeting, there likely won't be any military action before then.

Gadhafi's regime, faced with U.N.-backed airstrikes, declared a ceasefire today as Libyan forces menaced the rebel capital of Benghazi.

The country's foreign minister said Libya accepted the United Nations Security Council resolution and had implemented a ceasefire. But there were reports of ongoing fighting and shelling in Misurata, an indication that the promise may not be in effect or not applied to all of Libya.

International military action against Libya could begin soon, but concerns about such an action remain high.

Most of Libya's air defenses are in the western part of the country, around the capital of Tripoli. The main military threat is in the east, where rebels have ascended to power, but even in the east there is a danger of man portable air defenses (MANPADS) or shoulder-fired missiles. There are hundreds of them, and there's not much that the international coalition can do about it because they can't be tracked.

Clinton said that the United States will continue to work with the international community to press Gadhafi to leave, but warned that it's too soon to tell what the final outcome might be.

"We do believe that a final result of any negotiations would have to be the decision by Col. Gadhafi to leave. But let's take this one step at a time," Clinton said. "Until we can have a better idea of what actually happened, it's hard to know what the next steps will be."

The U.N. approved a resolution late Thursday authorizing the international community to take "all necessary measures," short of sending in ground troops, to protect civilians in Libya, and to impose a no-fly zone. The resolution does not authorize taking out Gadhafi or regime change.

The Libyan government closed its air space to traffic following the vote.

Prior to the vote, Gadhafi gave an interview to a Portuguese television station assailing the U.N. and vowing that Libya would retaliate strongly if the resolution were to pass.

"According to the U.N. Charter, the Security Council has no right to intervene in the internal affairs of any state," Gadhafi said. "We'll answer them, our response will make their lives hell as well, as they are making our lives hell. They will never enjoy peace because this is injustice, unfairness."

The world jumped into the conflict just as Gadhafi's forces threatened to attack the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in eastern Libya.

The longtime dictator issued a warning to the residents of Benghazi Thursday. "We are coming tonight," he said. "There won't be any mercy."

Gadhafi and his supporters remain defiant.

Gadhafi's son, Saif, told ABC News via a phone interview that the U.N. resolution is a "big mistake" and that if the United States wants to help, they should in fact help the government.

"We want to live in peace, so we want even Americans to help us get rid of the remnants of those people and to have a peaceful country, more democratic," he said. "If you want to help us, help us to, you know, to be democracy, more freedom, peaceful, not to threaten us with air strikes. We will not be afraid. Come on!"

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