Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's forces have faced yet another major blow after Nato air strikes hit eight of his warships on the ports of Tripoli, Al Khums and Sirte on Thursday.

A Nato spokesperson said in a statement that given Gaddafi's increasing use of naval assets to launch attacks on civilians, Nato had no choice but to take decisive action.

Nato said in a statement the strikes on Friday demonstrated Nato's resolve to protect the civilian population of Libya, using appropriate and proportionate force.

In a major speech on the Arab uprisings, Obama said on Thursday, Gaddafi does not have control over his country... And when Gaddafi inevitably leaves or is forced from power, decades of provocation will come to an end, and the transition to a democratic Libya can proceed.

Earlier on Thursday, Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that Gaddafi's war machine has been significantly degraded and his regime is more and more isolated every day.

On the other hand, Benghazi-based National Transitional Council has appealed for international help for towns in the Nafousa mountains, south west of Tripoli. The people there were under constant bombardment from Col Gaddafi's forces and had run out of water, said Ahmed Bemoussa, a council member.