NATO spokesman Wing Cmdr. Mike Bracken said Tuesday the alliance would wait and see whether pro-Gaddafi units cease their operations during Ramadan, which starts around 1 August. If they don't "then I think it would be highly appropriate to continue to use the mandate that NATO has to protect those lives," he said.
The Western alliance is operating under a UN mandate that allows the use of force to protect civilians.
NATO is worried that bombing a Muslim nation during the month-long period of prayer, reflection and sunrise-to-sunset fasts could provoke a public backlash in the Islamic world.