The vote by the UN Security Council to
impose a no-fly zone on Libya and take "all necessary measures" to
protect Libyan civilians from government-led attacks, has passed with a vote of 10 to 5. The vote "will also allow military intervention to enforce the
ban, and calls to take "all necessary measures" to protect civilians and
civilian populated areas under threat of attack." The UN Security Council Resolution was backed by 10 countries, enough
to pass, while 5 other countries - including Russia, China and Germany -
chose to abstain. None voted against. Next up: CNN's ratings go through the roof as everyone picks up where they left off in the Gulf War with watching 1st person perspectives of bombing sorties taking out various Libyan targets. German planes however will be missing: Merkel's state refuses to participate at all in the bombing.
Below, Al Jazeera live footage of Benghazi rejoicing:
British forces could be in action over Libya as early as Friday, if a UN resolution is agreed, a senior government source has told the BBC.
BBC political editor Nick Robinson said the source stressed talks were continuing and it could take longer, but would be within days of a yes vote.
The UN Security Council is due to vote imminently on whether to authorise a no-fly zone in Libya.
Russia and China are expected to abstain, rather than use their veto.
The vote comes as Col Gaddafi warned people in rebel stronghold Benghazi his troops are coming "tonight" and there would be "no mercy" - he told rebels that those who laid down their weapons would be pardoned.
Senior UN sources said British and French war planes could be in the air within hours to carry out initial air raids on Libyan positions, if the resolution is passed, possibly with logistical support from Arab allies.