Libyan Rebels Push Into Gadhafi-Held West

Posted June 6th, 2011 at 9:10 am (UTC-5)
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British Foreign Secretary William Hague told reporters in London Sunday that the campaign against pro-Gadhafi forces is intensifying. But he rejected suggestions that it has strayed from the U.N. mandate to protect civilians.

Hague defended the use of British and French attack helicopters, which were employed for the first time on Saturday. But Russian Deputy Prime Minister Minister Sergei Ivanov warned that use of the helicopters puts NATO “one step” closer to a ground operation.

Russia abstained when the U.N. Security Council voted in March to establish a no-fly zone over Libya. It has repeatedly called for a negotiated solution to the conflict.

A special Russian envoy is due in Benghazi Monday, where he plans to meet with members of the rebel Transitional National Council.