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The US and its allies are considering a variety of options to stop the ongoing violence in Libya, one of those is to set up a no-fly zone over Libya.

In the meantime, Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, warned that any military action over Libya, such as setting up a no-fly zone, must be carefully considered because of the potential consequences.

There are also few signs of consensus. Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, said there would be no no-fly zone without a UN resolution, while Russia has described a no-fly zone as "superfluous".

What exactly is a no-fly zone? What does it take for the UN to allow a no-fly zone over Libya? And Can a no-fly-zone over Libya really help to end the violence in Libya?

Joining us to discuss these issues are: Marine Lt. Col. Jay Stout, a former fighter jet pilot who also wrote books on the war in the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Kuwait; Khawar Qureshi QC, an international law specialist at McNair Chambers; and Wahid Burshan, a Libyan political analyst and activist.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Wednesday, March 2, 2011.

Source: Al Jazeera