US warships enter Egypt's Suez Canal
The USS Kearsarge and the Ponce, two US amphibious assault ships, have
entered the Suez Canal on their way to Libya as Libyan ruler Muammar
Gaddafi continues his harsh crackdown on anti-government protesters, a
canal official says.
The two US warships with hundreds of Marines on board headed towards
Libya on Tuesday and entered Egypt's Suez Canal on Wednesday, Reuters
The ships were at the southern mouth of the canal, the official said,
adding that they were expected to pass through by 3:30 p.m. or 4:00 p.m.
Earlier on Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the USS
Kearsarge, an amphibious ship capable of carrying up to 2,000 Marines,
and the USS Ponce assault ship will be passing through the Mediterranean
According to top US military officials, the Kearsarge warship is
carrying 400 Marines from the United States.
The US, along with Britain and France, has also sent hundreds of Special
Forces to Libya's east. The forces are setting up bases in the cities
of Benghazi and Tobruk.
The move comes against the backdrop of heated discussions over the
possibility of imposing a no-fly zone on Libya, and a NATO-backed
The US Senate unanimously passed a resolution urging the world to
consider imposing a no-fly zone over Libya and condemning Gaddafi's
bloody crackdown on Libyan civilians.
Lawmakers approved the measure, which "applauds" demonstrators demanding
democratic reforms and "strongly condemns" Gaddafi's response.
The symbolic resolution calls on Gaddafi "to desist from further
violence, recognize the Libyan people's demand for democratic change,
resign his position and permit a peaceful transition to democracy."
Gaddafi's bloody repression of anti-government protesters have claimed
the lives of thousands of people over the past 16 days as the death toll
is expected to rise as Gaddafi continues his bloody crackdown against
the opposition. Press TV