Skip to main content

Several Arab states to join coalition, U.S. official says

By Elise Labott, CNN Senior State Dept Producer
Click to play
Preparing for battle in Libya
  • No-fly zone help to come in next few days, administration official says
  • Several Arab states expected to join Qatar

Washington (CNN) -- The United States expects additional Arab support for the coalition enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya, a senior administration official told reporters.

So far, Qatar is the only Arab country that has contributed planes to the mission.

The official, who could not be named because of the sensitivity of the diplomacy, said several Arab states are in the process of finalizing their plans, adding the Obama administration was "confident we will have further concrete contributions of different kinds" for enforcement of the resolution in the next two to three days.

NATO is in the process of finalizing the exact structure for command of the mission, the official said, adding that NATO would play a "key role" as part of a wider effort that would include Arab states and other nations. NATO has a long history of working in partnership with nonmembers, the official noted, citing missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

The official added that the U.S. will revert to a supportive role in the next few days, which could include jamming of Gadhafi's communication, refueling and intelligence support.

Part of complete coverage on
'Sons of Mubarak' in plea for respect
Pro-Mubarak supporters believe Egypt's former president is innocent of charges of corruption and killing protesters.
Timeline of the conflict in Libya
Fighting in Libya started with anti-government demonstrations in February and escalated into a nationwide civil war.
Who are these rebels?
After months of seeming stalemate, Libyan rebels declared they were moving in on Tripoli. But who are they?
Why NATO's Libya mission has shifted
Six months and more than 17,000 air sorties after it began, NATO's Operation Unified Protector in the skies over Libya grinds on.
Interactive map: Arab unrest
Click on countries in CNN's interactive map to see the roots of their unrest and where things stand today.
Send your videos, stories
Are you in the Middle East or North Africa? Send iReport your images. Don't do anything that could put you at risk.
Libya through Gadhafi's keyhole
Behind the official smiles for the cameras some people in Libya's capital are waiting for the rebels, reports CNN's Ivan Watson.
How Arab youth found its voice
Tunisia's Mohamed Bouazizi not only ignited a series of revolts but heralded the first appearance of Arab youth on the stage of modern history.