West considering military action against Gaddafi over use of chemical weapon fears

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

LONDON - The Western leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron are reportedly considering ordering military action against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi amid fears that the Libyan dictator could use chemical weapons against the pro-democracy protestors in his own country.

Cameron has disclosed that he would not rule out “the use of military assets” as Britain “must not tolerate this regime using military forces against its own people”. Britain and America are also thought to be considering arming rebel forces in Libya, The Telegraph reports.

According to British sources, the Libyan dictator could make a last attempt to cling on to power by utilising mustard gas chemicals that the country has stored.

Despite promising in 2003 that his country would give up weapons of mass destruction, Gaddafi is thought to have retained at least 14 tons of the chemicals required to create mustard gas, the paper said.

The paper quoted a senior British government source as saying that the stocks are believed to be stored in secret secure facilities in the Libyan desert. Although the chemicals would need to be mixed and loaded into shells before they could be used as weapons, the source said that these were “still a concern” for Britain and “we want to make sure they’re destroyed.”

The disclosure came after a Gaddafi spokesman had reportedly warned that thousands of people would die if the country comes under the purview of a full-blown civil war.

Meanwhile, Cameron has told MPs that Britain and its allies were considering using fighter jets to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, patrolling and shooting down Libyan aircraft ordered to attack protesters, the paper added.

“If Col Gaddafi uses military force against his own people, the world cannot stand by. That is why we should be looking at a no-fly zone,” he said.

Insisting that Gaddafi’s departure was Britain’s “highest priority”, Cameron further said: “If helping the opposition would somehow bring that about, it is certainly something we should be considering.”

Meanwhile, The US defence department has said that it is repositioning forces around Libya, adding: “We have planners working various contingency plans, and I think it’s safe to say as part of that we’re repositioning forces to provide for that flexibility once decisions are made.” (ANI)

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