France begins to enforce Libyan no-fly zone

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Saturday that French fighter jets have begun flying sorties over Libya to enforce an internationally sanctioned no-fly zone, according to media reports.

Sarkozy said that French fighter jets were ready to take action if forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi attacked the rebel-held city of Benghazi.

"Along with our Arab, European and North American partners, France has decided to play its part before history," Sarkozy said, according to Reuters.

The move came as leaders from the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Arab nations met in Paris for talks on potential military actions against Libya.

By Saturday afternoon, The Associated Press reported, French aircraft had already fired on Libyan military vehicles in the first offensive strike carried out by allied forces.

During his trade mission to Brazil, President Obama said that he has briefed Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on the situation and said that the allied coalition is prepared to act against Libya.

"Our consensus was strong and our resolve is clear, the Libyan people must be protected," he said. "Our coalition is ready to act and act with urgency."

Defense Secretary Robert Gates postponed his trip to Russia until Sunday so he can monitor the situation in Libya, MSNBC reported Saturday.

Gadhafi issued a stern warning to Western leaders in a letter Saturday, saying they will regret carrying out military operations over his country. 

"You will regret it if you take a step toward intervening in our internal affairs," Gadhafi wrote.


—This post was updated at 1:44 p.m.