10:48 - The Wall Street Journal reports in a news alert that the U.S. will seek a UN Security Council resolution authorizing military strikes in Libya. Meanwhile, a Reuters "flash" report declares the "Libyan army will stop its operations on Sunday to give rebels a chance to surrender." The source is Al Arabiya.
Original Post (9:41 AM ET):
In recent weeks, even as the Libyan rebels, the Arab League, the U.K., and France came out in support of imposing a no-fly zone over Libya to ground Muammar Qaddafi's Air Force, the U.S.--already fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan--refused to commit to the idea.
That's all changed in the last 24 hours, as the prospect of Qaddaf's forces dealing a bloody, knockout blow to rebels in their headquarters of Benghazi loomed ever larger.
On Wednesday, Qaddafi's son, Saif, warned that the regime's forces were "almost in Benghazi" and that military operations would be over "within 48 hours," while the Libyan army informed the city's residents to leave "rebel-held locations and weapons storage areas" by 6pm Eastern Time so that forces could arrive "to cleanse your city from armed gangs." The deadline passed without an assault, prompting one Benghazi resident to label the regime's tactics "psychological warfare," according to Reuters. More recently, though, government planes bombed a nearby airport and Al Jazeera reports that there have been some casualties.