Wednesday, March 2, 2011
US warships set to enter Suez Canal
Two US warships would be entering Egypt’s Suez Canal on Wednesday morning as the threat of military intervention in Libya looms large, an Egyptian official says.
Earlier on Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the USS Kearsarge, an amphibious ship capable of carrying up to 2,000 Marines, and the USS Ponce assault ship will be passing through the Mediterranean shortly, it reported.
According to top US military officials, the Kearsarge warship will be carrying 400 Marines from the United States and will be joining the USS Enterprise, which is in the
Red Sea en route to the Suez Canal.
On Monday, the United States positioned naval and air forces around crisis-hit Libya as the Libyan regime’s bloody crackdown on anti-government protests continue to rage in the North African country.
The United States, along with Britain and France, has also sent hundreds of Special Forces to Libya’s east. The forces are setting up bases in the cities of Benghazi and Tobruk.
The move comes against the backdrop of heated discussions over the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone on Libya, and a NATO-backed military intervention. The potential intervention, on which no unanimous decision has been made, has raised concerns over dire consequences it might have in Arab states.
However, British envoy to the United Nations Mark Lyall Grant stated that the 15-member UN Security Council, which slapped sanctions on the Libyan regime last week, may decide to put up a no-fly zone in the North African country.
“We will look at what is happening on the ground, and we will look to take whatever measures we consider necessary to respond to events on the ground,” said Grant after the UN General Assembly suspended Libya from the UN Human Rights Council.
On Tuesday, the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) placed heavy emphasis on the need to tackle the growing crisis in Libya through peaceful means.
The organization also said it was against any military intervention in Libya by the United States and its Western allies.