President Barack Obama said the U.S. and its NATO allies are weighing wide range of potential options (including military intervention) to pressure Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi from committing any further acts of unacceptable against the opposition rebels.
However, he didn’t provide any details of what military options might entail.
Obama also said that anyone assisting Gaddafi will face consequences for their actions (this coming after the defection of several of Kaddafi’s former associates to the opposition).
I want to send a very clear message to those who are around Colonel Qaddafi. It is their choice to make how they operate moving forward, he said. And they will be held accountable for whatever violence continues to take place.
In addition, the president authorized an additional $15 million in humanitarian aid for the Libyan people – coming on the heels of a $10-million package last month.
After meeting with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Obama said the U.S. and Australia are united in their opposition to the unwarranted violence occurring in Libya.
Some US politicians, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., are pushing for more decisive action, including imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, in order to put more pressure on Gaddafi and “hasten his departure.
However, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley said such a measure was premature.
Lots of people throw around phrases of 'no-fly zone' and they talk about it as though it's just a game, a video game or something. Some people who throw that line out have no idea what they're talking about, Daley said.
Meanwhile, Libyan jets backed by Gaddafi have launched air strikes on opposition bases to stop rebels who are reportedly advancing on Tripoli, which remains in control of pro-government forces.