The international war crimes court issued arrest warrants today for Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, his son Seif al-Islam and Libya's intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity.
The Hague-based international criminal court, meeting today for 30 minutes, said in an announcement that "Colonel Qaddafi and his son...intended to suppress all dissent and that this policy was implemented by" Senussi, the New York Times' Marlise Simons reported. "The warrants were limited to events between February 18 and 28, before a full-scale conflict erupted between the [Gadhafi] regime and rebel forces."
NATO is now in its 100th day of air strikes in Libya. Originally conceived as a limited humanitarian action, the prolonged military operation has caused something of a backlash in western capitals, as the intervention appears to have no clear end in sight.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted Friday against measures that would have backed President Obama's authorizing of force in Libya, but also voted against defunding the action.
The Obama administration also cited the Libyan instability as one reason for rising gas prices as it announced last week the release of some 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The UK ambassador to the UN also told the BBC Monday that the Libya action had led to a backlash at the UN Security Council, where Russia or China have so far refused to endorse a resolution condemning the crackdowns by the Syrian regime.
(March 8, 2011 file photo of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi arriving at a hotel to give television interviews in Tripoli, Libya: Ben Curtis, File/AP Photo.)