Public split on Libya action as stalemate looms

Libya protestors urge action from London in the days before intervention. The public is split on the choice to intervene in the country.
Libya protestors urge action from London in the days before intervention. The public is split on the choice to intervene in the country.

By politics.co.uk staff

The public remains split down the middle on the military campaign in Libya, as the scenario on the ground approaches stalemate.

An ICM poll for the BBC found just 38% of people thought it was right for the UK and its allies to carry out air strikes, while 35% thought it was the wrong decision.

Sixty-five per cent expect the British involvement in Libya to last "for some time".


That judgement appeared increasingly sound as the US started to minimise its responsibilities in the conflict and rebel forces' showed few signs of the discipline and strength required to win the battle on the ground.

Even where rebel forces have had the advantage, eyewitnesses say that their lack of a battle plan sees the young men charge forward only to have to quickly retreat moments later after coming under fire.

Foreign secretary William Hague insisted the Gaddafi regime was in trouble, however, because it could not sell any oil.

"Let's be clear, if the Libyan regime tries to hang on in this situation, they are internationally isolated, they can't sell any oil," he told the Andrew Marr programme.

"There is no future for Libya on that basis, and so I think even the prospect of stalemate should encourage people in Tripoli to think: 'Well, Col Gaddafi has now got to go'."

The Nato operation was also coming in for criticism, however, after at least 13 people were killed by an attack on a rebel convoy on Friday.

The attack is thought to have taken place in response to celebratory anti-aircraft fire.

"If someone fires against our aircraft they have the right to respond, they are enforcing a no fly zone," Nato spokeswoman Oana Lungescu told the BBC.

"Any anti-aircraft guns would be acting against that."

Three medical students were thought to be among the dead.

Comments

Politics @ Lunch

Friday lunchtime. Your Inbox. It's a date.