It Begins: France Commences Military Action Over Libya

Tyler Durden's picture

It has begun - From the AP: "Top officials from the United States, Europe and the Arab world have announced immediate military action to protect civilians amid combat between Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces and rebel fighters. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after an emergency summit in Paris on Saturday that France has already taken military action against Libya. Sarkozy said "our determination is total." Earlier Saturday, Libyan government troops forces stormed into the rebel capital of Benghazi, apparently ignoring a proclaimed cease-fire and potentially complicating any allied military action."

The photo below shows what happens when a Libyan jet takes on a French fighter jet:

More from Al Arabiya:

Several French Rafale fighter jets on Saturday overflew "all Libyan territory" on reconnaissance mission, ready to enforce an air-exclusion zone to halt Muammar Qaddafi’s attacks on opposition, a French military source said, as Western leaders met in Paris to consider their next steps.

The planes were in the air not far from Libya this afternoon and were ready to carry out air strikes if there are orders from President Nicolas Sarkozy, a military official with knowledge of the preparations said on condition of anonymity.

World leaders gathered in Paris on Saturday to discuss a coordinated military intervention in Libya, where Muammar Gaddafi defied the West with an advance into the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

A witness from the western town of Zintin has told Al Arabiya that Gaddafi forces were pounding the town with artillery and residents, including women and children, were taking refuge hideouts in the city.

The witness added that Gaddafi forces were attempting to subdue the opposition-held town because of its strategic location west of the capital Tripoli.

An unnamed U.S. official has said the ongoing violence against Libyan civilians "obviously has an impact" on the international community's next steps

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Sarkozy met privately and then sat down with Arab leaders, an African Union representative, European Union representatives and European heads of state to prepare rapid U.N.-mandated action.

After Gaddafi broke his pledge of a ceasefire overnight, sources close to the Paris talks said military strikes could start as soon as the meeting ends on Saturday afternoon, with France, Britain and Canada in an initial operation and any participation by the United States or Arab nations coming later.

"The strikes could start around 3 or 4 o'clock (1400-1500 GMT)," one source said, adding that Gaddafi's advance into the eastern city of Benghazi had increased pressure to act fast.

A second source said it was "certainly possible" that strikes would start straight after the meeting.

Sarkozy will address the media after the meeting wraps up at around 3:30 p.m. (1430 GMT) and Clinton, Cameron and Merkel are also expected to make statements.

Iraq's foreign minister was at the talks, as was the Qatari prime minister and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, even though Germany is not expected to participate in any action for now.

Determined to prove its diplomatic clout after its clumsy handling of the revolt in Tunisia, Paris has been at the forefront of coordinating a world response to the crisis in Libya, where Gaddafi's troops outgun rag-tag and poorly armed rebel forces. Sarkozy was the first foreign leader to recognize the opposition and drop support for Gaddafi.

Backed by Cameron, Sarkozy convened Saturday's talks in a matter of hours after pushing France's U.N. Security Council partners hard this week to back a resolution allowing possible military action and a no-fly zone over Libya.

NATO ambassadors met in Brussels earlier on Saturday to discuss involvement by the 28-member military alliance in enforcing a no-fly zone, but no decision was taken.

A NATO diplomat said Britain, the United States and Canada were in favour of NATO taking a lead in any operation but said Paris was lukewarm on the idea.

"There could be a decision tomorrow saying that NATO will engage in a no-fly zone, but it's still not clear whether it will be a coalition of the willing, or a NATO operation," the diplomat said.

"France seems to have some problem with it being a NATO operation, given NATO's reputation in the Arab world as a result of Afghanistan and given that NATO is seen as an alliance dominated by the United States."

He added: "What is certain is that time is pressing. A delay of 12 hours of so could be very harmful."

Gaddafi's push into Libya's second city of 670,000 people, in spite of the ceasefire pledged on Friday, appeared to be an attempt to pre-empt Western military action.

France and Britain declined to react to the latest attacks ahead of the Paris talks, but a French government source said the international community must act fast.

"Everything is ready (to act) but the decision is now a political one. It's clear we have to move quickly," he said.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe met EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton earlier on Saturday to discuss the EU's role.

In the meantime pro Gaddafi forces in Tripoli threaten all out civil war, as per Al Jazeera (watch live coverage after the jump).

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Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Oh great. The French leading the way. This will end well.

CH1's picture

Very interesting commentary from a businessman who has lived on and off in Libya for a long time:

SRV - ES339's picture

Interesting take... I'd have to hear (many) more with the same view before I could take it seriously, but it is interesting. Of course, the elite of the west are on board with the Fed's destruction of the middle class too... a bit of "I'm alright Jack" in both cases I suspect (my guess is he's right, but his percentages are skewed to support his case).

However, we do hear rumblings about just who the rebels are (most likely mercenaries on both sides), but not much detail. Of course we'll find out... long after the fighting concludes... as usual.

Thanks for the link CH1!

Imminent Crucible's picture

I don't believe a word of this story.  Mad High Flatulence Trader said that all the bad stuff was in for 2011.

Here are the top five headlines on MarketWatch:

Air Strikes Over Libya Begin

French Jets Hit Gadhafi Fighters Near Benghazi

Hamas Fires 50-plus Rockets At Israel

Gunmen Kill 45 Protestors in Yemen

Radiation Found In Japanese Crops

Every bit of it's a lie.  Or else, MHFT is a nitwit.  Your call.

What does it all mean's picture


I agree, most of this is manufactured.

1.  The plane is from the Rebels, a CLEAR violation of the no-fly-zone.

2.  Khaddfy is smarter than US, and even more so than Hosni, if it escalates, it will be bloddy.  (He has been in power for 40 years!, lunatic, he might be.)  We started becoming their friend after they give up WMD in 2003.

3.  Watch German, China, Russia and even Brazil voting no on this...  

4.  North Korea will never give up their nukes now..

5.  Where are the Japan Nuclear news?  People die and people lives, Nuclear Radiation is forever...

6.  The hypocrisy of our policy toward Bahrain, Yemen and Syria...  At least made up a fear factor like a WMD and take one for the team like Bush did...  

Bottomline, there is so much we don't know and it is not because we are trying to protect the civiliians..  we can't even get his name right.  Quaddfi, Khaddfy, Qaddfy... Come on...

I pick Quahddafhy.

johnQpublic's picture

each tomahawk missile cost 3,202,857.10

so we just fired over 358 million dollars of missiles at a man whose name we cant even spell



may be a slow start to WW3, but it'll do

KinorSensase's picture

hahahahaha.  good observation.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Hey, Obooba has been saying that he has a laser-like focus on jobs jobs jobs, and making munitions is a job

clymer's picture

Tyler, Sacrilege, Marla, et al


Is it me, or does attacking other Nations seem to raise the number of posts from the usual 83 - 176 to the >1000 range?

God forbid these donkeys get hip to PM's, and actually make a dent in this global scam

Boilermaker's picture

Finally!  A true Crusader who can cut through the shit and get the paydirt!

God damn...I admire you.

Boilermaker's picture

I thought they were $575,000 each. 

What does it all mean's picture

Inflation or military accounting... pick one.

Seriously, ZH readers, on a long enough timeline, the survival rate of the Mox fuel will outlast all of us!  Let's spend this money to help the Japanese....  Now, that deserves a Nobel peace prize...

Don Birnam's picture

A Tomahawk strike wave consisting of 112 targets ? French jocks taking out some ( likely antiquated ) Libyan armored assets ?

...All well and good, but the most important question is,

"How are the S&P futures holding up ? No fly zone ? BTFD !"

What does it all mean's picture

112 missles, more like 20 targets.  

nmewn's picture

So, what you're saying is Reagan was more efficient (45 aircraft & 227 hits) as well as correct in trying to take out a known terrorist supporter and dictator (even with having to fly around "allied" countries airspace...France, Spain and Italy) all those years ago.

On some astral plane somewhere Ronnie grins that shit eatin grin of his ;-)

NidStyles's picture

The current version of the Tomahawk has multiple warheads.

kita27's picture

I agree, Im with Gaddaffi, this is the most obvious  conspiracy i have ever seen. I dont think the powers that be can even be bothered hiding it anymore.

"We want to protect the citizens", we want to spend billions of dollars, break international law and the sovereignty of Libya, risk the lives and equipment of western forces, risk escalation to full fledged war.

Meanwhile Saudi Arabia invades Bahrain, Yemen civilians are being slaughtered.

Al Jazeera is so biased in their coverage i cannot watch. They were biased also with Egypt but at least Egypt was a geniune revolution.

i hope western forces get bogged in a quagmire, Gaddafi needs to take Benghazi and disperse forces amongst the population and hide. All forces need to make themselves hidden to neutralise western technological superiority.

im neither here nor there for Gaddafi personally, but i am against lies, manipulation, greed, the the potential ramifications from the total disregard for Libyan sovereignty. There is no doubt this is all part of the larger strategic plan toward tackling Iran.

jeff montanye's picture

you know things will be perking right along when the first "allied" truck hits the first ied.  how exactly will the fight to retake benghazi play to the strengths of this "air only" allied offensive?  seem to remember a similar "no-fly zone" didn't work toward a quick endgame with ol' saddam.

nmewn's picture

It's a European problem...let europeons send in the ground troops...they're big boys, so they say.

Dave's picture

Yeah, so they say. Just watch.

NidStyles's picture

I wasn't alive for the last time that was stated, but I have read how that played out. The question is who else is going to be forced onto the other side? Iran and who? I can tell from first hand experience that the only European troop's worth a damn are the ones from the Ukraine. So I know that this fight will end up long and protracted.

nmewn's picture

"The question is who else is going to be forced onto the other side? Iran and who?"

For myself, with China & Russia abstaining on the UN vote, it won't be them. The only real advantage of having the UN around is it forces a "tell" on these things ;-)

As for Iran, she has isolated herself as one of the lone brigand states (not her people, the state itself). I found it interesting that Iran found Saudi troops in Bahrain "unacceptable"...Shiite vs. Sunni again?, possibly...but probably not IMHO.

Let the record show here I am no friend of the House of Saud.

On the two Iranian warships that passed through the Suez recently...many believe they were dropping off arms meant for Gaza (as Hezbollah, in Lebanon, can get theirs easily through Syria). These arms were subsequently confiscated by the IDF on a Liberian flagged freighter whose last port of call was Turkey...doubtful the transfer was made in Turkey...probably an open sea transfer.

Point being, Iran is an isolated violent menace just like Syria. The other large nations may trade with her but that's not the hill they will ultimately choose to fight & die on. 

We in the west should familiarize ourselves with how they go about speaking with the west from time to time...humbly submitted;

avonaltendorf's picture

@Tyler, very sincere thanks for covering the continuing Fukushima story, G7 float, and MENA. I check a lot of sources and Zero Hedge is head and shoulders above everything else, partly because you host this discussion forum. Between all the blue-faced monkey shit, there is an esrtwhile group effort to sift facts, post data, and define the essential questions.

avonaltendorf's picture

I lived in Tripoli long enough to be disgusted and angry as hell. Saw plenty of these asshole "businessmen." The death penalty is not strong enough punishment for Kaddafi and the vicious scum who function as bagmen and kept him in absolute power for 40 years. If you haven't seen Libya, you don't know how filthy and corrupt it is.

cossack55's picture

I've seen Wall St. and Pennsylvania Ave. Libya has a ways to go on corruption and filth.

Boilermaker's picture

Toss in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Paris, Rome, et al.  Then you have a valid point.

Tail Dogging The Wag's picture

You missed Moscow! How could you?

avonaltendorf's picture

You have no idea of what you're saying, don't know anything about Libya, or being deliberately obtuse. The United States is almost unique among the world's nations past and present. By our example of secular liberty, free speech, fair and frequent elections, state jurisdictions, adversarial justice and due process -- and our willingness to defend and promote civil institutions conducive to freedom -- the U.S. is a gentle giant. You want an example of corruption? Russia.

Boilermaker's picture

I agree 100%.  That said, we should work on our own levels of corruption.  It's not how great the USA is.  It's how much better we can be relative only to ourselves.

clymer's picture


BWAAAAHAHAHAhahaha *tear* hahahahaha*sniff* hahahaha *choke* ha* cough ha hmph heehee


"gentle Giant"


You shills have been watching too many mattress commercials.


Hint: The annoying frequency of your posts is a dead give away

Boilermaker's picture

Hint:  I have no fucking idea what you are talking about.

Request:  If you know of a way I can get paid for this, please forward along the contact information.  Otherwise, I'm sitting here watching NCAA basketball, eating Doritos and a tuna melt for free and that sucks.


clymer's picture

Umm.. Boiler? I believe I was responding to mr. 'red-eye' above you. Hence the words "gentle giant"

vxpatel's picture

The US is a gentle giant?

I guess native americans killed, africans enslaved/killed, 2 nuclear detonations in civilian cities, millions of dead rice farmers in vietnam, countless dead in iraq and afghanistan are just part of our peace process...?

Boilermaker's picture

Exactly, just think of how bad it could have been if we didn't handle things gently.

We should have taken Europes approach to 'gentleness' when it was the superpower of the world.  They really were civilized gentlemen.

AnAnonymous's picture

We should have taken Europes approach to 'gentleness' when it was the superpower of the world.


You mean like King George who enforced the Indians' right to property and kept his word on Black Loyalists?

A different time indeed.

Extortion is nice but has limitation: you can only cull the cattle you live off.

The US could not have done worse, they've managed their best.

sun tzu's picture



Colonisation of Africa and Asia...a different time indeed

AnAnonymous's picture

What about the colonization of the US?

No difference between Europeans and US citizens. Only Europeans wish to see themselves different from the US and the US citizens'wish to see themselves different from the US.

They are the same gang.

GDE's picture


You mean Europe, that place you are now destroying with massive immigrations and islamisation, and also your ugly and violent American melting-pot to definitely
mix the Europeans and lower their IQ ?

We call it the great cultural and ethnic genocide by population replacement of the native Europeans. Soon we will be parcked like native Americans in a Third-World continent in our own lands. Thanks, yankees.


sun tzu's picture

Blame your own selves. You voted for your politicians. Especially the English

Abitdodgie's picture

Amerika has been at war continually since 1960

AnAnonymous's picture

Actually, the US have been much more at war since inception than they have been at peace.

reader2010's picture

War is Peace. Long live warz.

Rusty_Shackleford's picture



Gentle Giant


Now that's funny.

AnAnonymous's picture

US citizens have large troubles in self perception. They cant picture themselves as they are.

Richard Head's picture

Uh, more like we don't picture ourselves the way you do.  And frankly, we don't care.  Because whatever country you're from is probably an even more filthy sewer than anything you can pin on us.

AnAnonymous's picture

Huh, no.

The US citizens can not picture themselves as they are.

It is no surprise a propagandist can grow wealthy in the US as the demand for flattery, or more distorted report of the US citizens is high.

This starts with the birth of the US, that was a slaver nation and yet is kept perceived as a freedom loving country by the US citizens etc

It has nothing to do with what others might say about the US. It has all to do with facts and how the common US citizen can not face them.

Boilermaker's picture

Don't you love a good Euro view?  Seriously, it's priceless.  You just can't make that shit up.

Jealously...just make shit up to overcome it.  It's kinda like black dudes liking fat chicks.  Just adjust your 'desires' to match availability.  Works like a charm.