US To Begin Airlifting Libya’s Refugees


US President Barack Obama today ordered military airlifts to transport refugees, mostly from Egypt, who have massed across the Libyan border in Tunisia. The president also ordered the US Agency for International Development to charter civilian planes to transport refugees from several countries.

“There is a danger of a stalemate that over time could be bloody,” Obama said today. “And that is something that we’re obviously considering. So what I want to make sure of is, is that the United States has full capacity to act – potentially rapidly – if the situation deteriorates in such a way that you had a humanitarian crisis.”

Addressing the issue of imposing a no-fly zone over Libyan airspace, the president said that it remained under consideration.

US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, said yesterday that he was opposed to imposing a no-fly zone, which would require a preemptive attack on Libyan air defenses.

Military experts have suggested that the US could impose a “no-fly lite,” which would limit US air coverage to areas controlled by Libyan rebels.

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