Rebels Celebrate UN Vote for No-Fly Zone Over Libya

As the United Nations Security Council voted to authorize the use of force in Libya on Thursday, including imposing a no-fly zone, anti-Gadhafi protesters in Benghazi cheered and celebrated the news with fireworks.

The last few days have been rough for the rebels, with Col. Gadhafi pushing his army mercilessly forward in an attempt to regain the city of Benghazi, the opposition’s stronghold.

In Benghazi and the vestiges of other rebel-controlled cities, anti-Gadhafi forces, many of them young Libyans, have been trying to hold their ground with aging weapons and dwindling hope—awaiting international aid.

Without foreign intervention, it is likely that Gadhafi’s regime would soon crush the opposition, while laying waste to the surrounding cities. Depending on how quickly the no-fly zone becomes effective, it could still make a difference in Gadhafi’s advance since he has been using air attacks as an important strategic advantage over the ground-bound rebels.

Meanwhile, an estimated 290,000 people are carrying their belongings in a mass exodus from the country.

The stated purpose of the United Nations Security Council resolution is to protect the lives of civilians. Specifically, the resolution calls for an immediate ceasefire in attacks against civilians. If Gadhafi ignores the call, then further force is authorized.

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