As conflicting reports of civilian casualties continued to emerge from Libya, many leaders worldwide said that the intervention has gone too far
The Arab League, which originally pledged support for the UN-approved no-fly zone, said that the resolution failed because it was supposed to protect civilians.
“What happened differs from the no-fly zone objectives,” said Amr Moussa, the head of the Arab League. “What we want is civilians’ protection, not shelling more civilians.”
Moussa called for an emergency meeting of the Arab League to discuss the situation and requested a report into the coalition’s intervention.
While media reports from the war-torn country are sketchy, Libyan television has reported that 64 civilians are dead and more than 150 are wounded. Whether the casualties were caused by air strikes, rebels or Khadafy forces is unclear.
Russia, which abstained from voting for the UN resolution, also criticized the attacks, saying they had gone beyond enforcing a no-fly zone.
Despite denials from coalition forces, Alexander Lukashevich, Russia’s foreign ministry spokesman, said that the coalition had hit non-military targets. At the time of his statement, he said he believed that 48 civilians had been killed – matching early reports on Libyan state TV before the number was updated to 64 by a Libyan health official.
“In that respect we call on countries involved to stop the non-selective use of force,” he said in a statement. “We believe a mandate given by the U.N. Security Council resolution — a controversial move in itself — should not be used to achieve goals outside its provisions which only see measures necessary to protect civilian population,” he added.
The United States rebuffed claims during President Obama’s trip to Brazil that the coalition had acted outside of the resolution.
“The resolution endorsed by Arabs and UNSC (the United Nations Security Council) included ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians, which we made very clear includes, but goes beyond, a no-fly zone,” the official told Reuters.
With News Wire Services