Nova Scotia

N.S. man relieved Libyan no-fly zone imposed

A Maritimer with ties to Libya is watching closely this weekend after the international community imposed a no-fly zone over the North African country.

A Maritimer with ties to Libya is watching closely this weekend after the international community imposed a no-fly zone over the North African country.

Hadi Salah, who lives in Nova Scotia, has been a vocal critic of the Moammar Gadhafi regime and has organized several demonstrations in Halifax.

"The resistance is still there and when the no-fly zone is implemented fully, the people of Libya, we['ll] be able to defend them and we['ll] be able to push Gadhafi's forces out," said Salah.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave Canada's support for the enforcement of the no-fly zone after a meeting of international leaders in Paris on Saturday.

Harper said Canada will "very soon" be part of extensive aerial operations over Libya, although a spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office said the jets needed up to two days to prepare for any missions.

Canada announced the deployment of six CF-18 fighter jets from CFB Bagotville in Quebec, along with two C-17s from CFB Trenton carrying 150 personnel. HMCS Charlottetown is en route to the Mediterranean Sea.

The federal government has imposed an asset freeze and a ban on financial transactions with the Libyan government, its institutions and agencies, and has frozen more than $2 billion in Libyan assets so far.

"The people of Benghazi and Misrata are [going to] able to defend their own cities once there's no air strikes from Gadhafi. We are so hopeful that this will happen soon," Salah said.

The local Arab community had been frustrated that Canada and other Western powers were slow to act, he said, but now he's feeling optimistic.

"We are more comforted now that the population of Libya is protected from Gadhafi's power," said Salah. 

"We are also comforted that the people inside the cities of Benghazi and Misrata, which have basically been attacked for many days from Muslata, we're able to protect their cities and to push Gadhafi's forces outside the city.

"Eventually, it will lead to the toppling of Gadhafi's regime."

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