There was no immediate word on casualties, and an Associated Press reporter who witnessed the strikes said they did not appear to hit any fighters.
On another front, a witness said Qaddafi loyalists have recaptured Zawiya, the city closest to Tripoli that had fallen into opposition hands. The witness, speaking to The Associated Press by phone, said Qaddafi's tanks and fighting vehicles were roaming the city 30 miles west of Tripoli and firing randomly at homes. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared reprisal.
Qaddafi's regime has been using its air power advantage more each day to check a rebel advance west toward Tripoli on the main highway leading out of the opposition-controlled eastern half of the country. The heavy use of air power underlines the vulnerability of the rebel forces as they attempt to march in open terrain along the Mediterranean coast and could prompt world powers to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to deny Qaddafi that edge.
The United States and its NATO allies edged closer Monday to formulating a military response to the escalating violence in Libya as the alliance boosted surveillance flights over the country and the Obama administration signaled it might be willing to help arm Qaddafi's opponents. Europe, meanwhile, kick-started international efforts to impose a no-fly zone.
It still appeared unlikely that U.S. warplanes or missiles soon would deploy in Libya, which has been sliding toward civil war, but the continuing violence increased pressure on Washington to do something or at least spell out its plan.
The rebels are fighting to oust Qaddafi from power after more than 41 years, a goal in common with the protesters who managed to topple authoritarian rulers in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt. However, the Libyan uprising has already proved much more violent, and could be much more drawn out.
In Benghazi, the main city in the rebel-held east of the country, a spokesman for the newly created Interim Governing Council said a man who claimed to represent Qaddafi has made contact with the council to discuss terms for Qaddafi to step down. Mustafa Gheriani told the AP the council could not be certain whether the man was acting on his own initiative or did in fact represent the Libyan leader.
"But our position is clear: No negotiations with the Qaddafi regime," said Gheriani, who declined to say when contact was made or reveal the identity of the purported envoy.
In Zawiya, the witness said electricity, phone and Internet services have all been cut. The witness spoke to the AP after he managed to escape the city through surrounding farmlands and reach a point outside Zawiya where mobile phone coverage was available.
"The city is in ruins," he said. "Some buildings have been entirely destroyed and everyone on the street is shot on sight. There are many wounded but the hospitals are running out of supplies," he said, describing conditions in the city after the regime's counteroffensive on Monday.
As the fighting continues, Qaddafi's regime is also coming under mounting pressure from some Arab nations.
Gulf Arab countries joined the calls for a no-fly zone, with the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates saying during a conference of his country's neighbors that the U.N. Security Council should "shoulder its historical responsibility for protecting the Libyan people."
Still, Western military intervention does not seem imminent -- and the warnings may be an attempt to intimidate Qaddafi with words before deeds.
British and French officials said the no-fly resolution was being drawn up as a contingency and it has not been decided whether to put it before the U.N. Security Council, where Russia holds veto power and has rejected such a move.
Western officials have said a no-fly zone does not require a U.N. mandate, but they would prefer to have one.
- Libya uprising – live updates• Bin Jawad said to have fallen to pro-Gaddafi forces • Gaddafi loyalists marching on Ras Lanuf, with air strikes reported. Follow live updates here 4.28pm: Here's Douglas Alexander's line to William Hague in the Commons just now, courtesy of Andrew Sparrow: The British public are entitled to wonder whether, if some new neighbours moved into the foreign secretary's street, he would introduce ...Guardian Unlimited - Mar 07 06:34am
- The Lede: March 7: Updates on Libya's Revolt and Middle East ProtestsOn Monday, The Lede is following the uprising in Libya and protest movements across North Africa and the Middle East.International Herald Tribune - Mar 07 02:34pm
- Libya uprising continues – live updates• Rebels say they have held oil export terminal Brega • US warships approach Libya • Gaddafi vows to fight to the last man and woman • Click here for a summary of key points today 7.51pm: Although senior officials from the Obama administration have played down talk about military intervention, two US amphibious assault ships have sailed into the Mediterranean from the Red Sea. The USS Ponce and ...Guardian Unlimited - Mar 06 02:03pm
- Libyan airstrikes move West closer to assisting uprising - Detroit News
- Libya: France Welcomes Rebel Council, UK in Diplomatic Bind - AllAfrica.com
- Lebanese parties voice support for popular uprising in Libya - The Daily Star Lebanon
- all 5 news articles…
- Libya: live report1143 GMT Meanwhile, this just in from Tunis... Two Tunisians were killed in the unrest in Libya, which has been shaken by anuprising for three weeks, the Tunisian foreign ministry announces.AFP via Yahoo! News - 19 minutes ago
- Libya Live Blog - March 7As the uprising in Libya continues, we update you with the latest developments from our correspondents, news agencies and citizens across the globe.Aljazeera - Mar 06 02:34pm
- Libya revolt as it happened: Monday - BBC News
- Libya Live Blog - March 6 - Aljazeera
- Libya: Peace and Justice Movement Should Oppose U.S.-Led Intervention - AllAfrica.com
- all 77 news articles…
- Obama increases humanitarian aid to Libya - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army TimesWASHINGTON — President Obama authorized an additional $15 million in humanitarian aid to Libya Monday as government forces there stepped up their crackdown on opposition forces.Army Times - Mar 07 10:22am
- How Qaddafi helped fuel fury toward Africans in LibyaAs Libya erupts into civil war, migrant laborers from sub-Saharan Africa are coming under increasing threat of mob violence due to reports that African mercenaries are helping Muammar Qaddafi brutally quash a nation-wide uprising against his 41-year rule.The Christian Science Monitor via Yahoo! News - Mar 06 01:59pm
- ALEX MILLS: Crude oil volatile because of Libya's uprisingCrude oil futures continue to be volatile because of Libya's violent uprising that has threatened to disrupt exports and spread to other Middle East oil producers. Crude oil prices jumped after heavy gunfire broke out in Tripoli as army units defected and a former aide to Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi warned the spreading revolt may topple the regime.The San Angelo Standard-Times - Mar 05 02:36pm
- Stocks rally as oil prices drop on report OPEC will expand crude output to make up forLibya - Canadian Business
- World markets rise as oil prices drop - Richmond Times-Dispatch
- Oil nears $107 a barrel, gasoline above $3.50 - INO News
- all 54 news articles…
- Obama: Military action against Libya possible - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy TimesWASHINGTON — President Barack Obama warned Libya’s leaders that the U.S. and its NATO allies are still considering military options in response to what he called “unacceptable” violence perpetrated by supporters of Moammar Gadhafi.Navy Times - Mar 07 11:26am