Updated 11:45 p.m. edt
Along with grounding its planes, the U.S. is going to stop firing Tomahawk cruise missiles at Libya, my old pal Bob Burns of the Associated Press reports today.
But, Moammar Gadhafi might not want to do a victory dance just yet. The Pentagon says if things take a turn for the worse in Libya, Navy ships and submarines will start lighting those potent candles again.
Here is a spectacular video of a multi-Tomahawk launch that I posted earlier this week. It is worth seeing.
Meanwhile, street-to-street fighting continued in Misurata today, while the eastern rebel army was reportedly dug in outside of Brega, unable to to resume its offensive, but was said to be not ceding any further ground at this point to Gadhafi's loyalist forces.
Updated 4 p.m.
The government of Moammar Gadhafi rejected an offer today from rebels for a ceasefire, Reuters reports.
The rebel demands, made through a United Nations negotiator, include a promise that Gadhafi will leave Libya and his forces withdrew from cities now under government control.
The Gadhafi government says no way, the British wire service reports.
Somebody might want to tell forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi that senior government officials are apparently running away to save themselves while troops in Misurata and Brega face NATO airstrikes and a rebel force that may be retreating, but is not quitting.
There are reports that Gadhafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, dispatched an aide, Mohammed Ismail, to London for secret talks believed to be centered around an exit strategy for the family.
In a further sign that the crack in the Libyan government is widening, longtime Gadhafi confidante Ali Abdussalam el-Treki defected yesterday to Egypt, a day after former Libyan spymaster and foreign minister Musa Kusa sought exile in Britain.
Kusa, who has been accused of playing a role in the Lockerbie bombing, has not been offered an immunity deal, but is said to be cooperating with authorities.
Like Kusa, Treki spent decades serving Gadhafi as another foreign minister and ambassador to the United Nations. Treki even rose to president of the U.N. General Assembly.
“Gadhafi must be asking himself who will be the next to go," Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague said after Kusa defected.