Debate continued into the night at the United Nations Security Council on a new resolution calling for international action to protect civilians in Libya.2011316154916243884_20small
Diplomats said they expected a vote on a resolution as early as Thursday--but the exact elements in play are not yet clear.
"We need to be prepared to contemplate steps that include but perhaps go beyond a no-fly zone," U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice told reporters at a stake-out after the Security Council deliberations Wednesday.
Separately, all members of the U.S. Senate were invited to a classified briefing on Libya on Thursday at 2pm.
Diplomatic sources said two draft resolutions have been distributed to Council members for consideration -- one introduced by the French, Lebanese and British -- and a second one by the Russians that just calls for a cease-fire that is not considered as serious.
France and the UK may offer to operate the no fly zone without the United States, a U.S. official said.
The Lebanese, French, and British have been most forceful in urging international military action to protect civilians and restrain Muammar Gadhafi's forces, which made further advances against rebel forces in the east of the North African country Wednesday.
While ostensibly supporting a new resolution, the United States, led by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, has expressed concern about embarking on another military operation in the Middle East, especially if its goals are not limited and very well defined.
In earlier debate this week, Germany, India, Russia and China have also expressed reservations about an international military intervention in Libya.
CNN reported that while the draft resolution would set up a no-fly zone to help protect civilians, some nations wanted "more information from Arab countries regarding what areas need to be protected and where safe passage areas should be."Read More »from UN debates Libya resolution