US, Nato consider arming Libyan opposition – report

Washington – The United States and its allies were considering supplying weapons to the Libyan opposition, The Washington Post reported today.

President Barack Obama’s administration believed that the UN resolution that authorised international intervention in Libya had the “flexibility” to allow such assistance, it reported, citing unnamed US and European officials.

According to The Post, Gene Cretz, the recently withdrawn US ambassador to Libya, said administration officials were having “the full gamut” of discussions on “potential assistance we might offer, both on the non-lethal and the lethal side”.

But no decisions had been made, the paper noted.

France, meanwhile, backed training and arming the rebels, the report added.

Obama would address the nation about his Libya strategy on Monday, the White House announced yesterday, as coalition forces launched a fresh wave of air and missile strikes against the Libyan regime’s forces.

Allied warplanes carried out raids yesterday on the town of Zliten, 160km east of Tripoli, and in the western Al-Watiya region, Libyan state television reported.

A military site in Tripoli’s eastern Tajura suburb was also in flames after three major explosions rocked the district.

According to the White House announcement, Obama will speak to the nation from the National Defense University in Washington this evening to update Americans on the campaign so far, on plans to turn over control to Nato and “our policy going forward”.

The US president also briefed key congressional leaders about the operation yesterday.

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