NATO took over control of operations in Libya yesterday but the coalition don't all agree on what should be done. NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance did not support arming the rebels and France agreed with him. But the British and the US say the UN has a mandate to go ahead and it should be done.
Gaddafi has repeatedly said that the rebellion is an al-Qaida operation, but who can believe him? But now a cable from the US embassy in Tripoli has emerged, published by WikiLeaks which says there was a real fear of Islamic extremism in Libya. "Libyans were apparently more fired up to travel to Iraq to kill Americans than anyone else in the Middle East," said Andrew Exum, a counter-insurgency fellow at the Centre for New American Security. That fact "might give pause to those in the United States so eager to arm Libya's rebels" he said.
A spokesman for the rebels played down the allegations but did not deny them. He said "If there are any Libyans who were associated with al-Qaida around the world and are now in Libya, they are fighting on behalf of Libya".