WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama warned Libya's leaders that the U.S. and its NATO allies are still considering military options in response to what he called "unacceptable" violence perpetrated by supporters of Moammar Gadhafi.
"I want to send a very clear message to those who are around Colonel Gadhafi. It is their choice to make how they operate moving forward. And they will be held accountable for whatever violence continues to take place," Obama said during remarks in the Oval Office Monday.
Libyan warplanes launched multiple airstrikes on opposition fighters in the second day of a government crackdown to thwart rebels advancing on Gadhafi's stronghold in Tripoli.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said a military response was no more likely Monday than it was before the surge in violence. He said the U.S. and its partners are considering a wide variety of military actions, including a no-fly zone, but said deploying ground troops "is not top of the list at this point."
Carney said the U.S. is also considering providing weapons to rebel forces, though he cautioned that there were still many unanswered questions about what groups comprise those forces.
"I think that it would be premature to send a bunch of weapons to a post office box in eastern Libya. We need to not get ahead of ourselves in terms of the options we're pursuing," Carney said.
NATO officials are meeting in Brussels this week to consider the next steps in dealing with Libya. U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Ivo Daalder said officials would discuss the capabilities and even the purposes of a no-fly zone, noting that it was unclear how useful it would be to stop violence that is mainly occurring on the ground.