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Libya no-fly zone: Just a matter of hours

Imposing a U.N.-authorized no-fly zone over Libyan air space will be just a matter of "perhaps hours, perhaps a day or two," said CBS News national security correspondent David Martin.

"The resolution calls for an immediate cease-fire," Martin said on CBS' "The Early Show" Friday. "There are reports today that [Qaddafi] is continuing to shell one of the few remaining rebel-held towns, so he is in violation of the cease-fire."

On Thursday the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling for a cease-fire in Libya and authorized use of a no-fly zone. In response, Libya closed its air space to all traffic - presumably, said CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips, to keep an eye on non-Libyan aircraft.

On Friday British Prime Minister David Cameron said "in the coming hours" the U.K. will send Typhoon and Tornado fighter jets to help enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. Cameron also said that representatives of Britain, France and Arab nations will meet in Paris tomorrow to discuss the no-fly zone.

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The United States is not going it alone, said Martin, but its contributions to an effective no-fly zone will be indispensable.

"Certainly there are going to be other countries involved. Britain's going to be involved. France is going to be involved. Some Arab countries will be involved. But if you just look at the technology available, the U.S. is going to play a major role," he said.

Martin said that a no-fly zone would begin with air strikes against Qaddafi's air defense network - likely by American cruise missiles - so that planes patrolling Libya cannot be shot down by surface-to-air missiles.

"This may sound like just a lazy patrol over Libyan territory, but it begins violently," said Martin.

Martin said the United Nations Security Council has done its part - and now it is up to countries with air power in the region, namely France, Great Britain and the United States.

But it would not mean the use of American ground troops, he added.

"U.S. officials have ruled out putting American boots on the ground, and the U.N. Resolution passed last night specifically says that it does not include an occupation force," said Martin.

"I think the only possible exception to that would be troops going ashore to set up relief stations in the rebel-held areas."