BBC News

Libya protests: No-fly zone - bluff or reality?

By Frank Gardner
Security correspondent, BBC News

image captionDamage to a Libyan runway in the eastern town of Abrak in the early days of the protests

In the corridors of Britain's Ministry of Defence a planning taskforce is busy working up contingency plans for a possible no-fly zone over Libya.

It is part of the gathering international momentum towards isolating Libya's Col Gaddafi amid fears he may once again use his air force against his own people.

But is it practical? Is it desirable? Or, as some cynics suspect, is this just playing for time in the hopes that Col Gaddafi soon yields to pressure and steps down before a single Western warplane is sent anywhere near Libyan airspace?

image captionProtesters fear aerial attacks by the Gaddafi forces

More on this story

  • Should there be a no-fly zone over Libya?