NATO’s top decision-making body is meeting in an emergency session on Saturday to review military plans for a no-fly zone over Libya.
The North Atlantic Council is expected to issue the order to launch the operation during this weekend. Officials said the military staff was putting the final touches on plans to deploy dozens of fighter-bombers, tankers, helicopters and surveillance planes to several air bases along Europe’s southern rim.
The meeting follows a U.N. Security Council resolution that authorizes the international community to act to defend civilians in Libya.
NATO’s preparations come as leaders from the Arab world, Africa, the U.S. and other Western powers meet for urgent talks in Paris on Saturday over possible military action against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.