The Canadian government has sent six CF-18 fighters to take part in the Libya mission authorized by the UN Security Council on Thursday (Steven Chase, “Canada commits six fighter jets to help enforce Libyan no-fly zone,” Globe and Mail, 17 March 2011):
The UN Security Council voted Thursday to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and authorize “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from attacks by Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, hours after the Libyan leader vowed to crush the rebellion with a final assault on the opposition capital of Benghazi.
The vote paved the way for possible international air strikes on Col. Gadhafi’s advancing military and reflected the past week’s swift reversal of the situation in Libya, where once-confident rebels are now in danger of being obliterated by an overpowering pro-Gadhafi force using rockets, artillery, tanks and warplanes. That force has advanced along the Mediterranean coast aiming to recapture the rebel-held eastern half of Libya. …
The UN resolution establishes “a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians.” It also authorizes UN member states to take “all necessary measures … to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.”