The Qatar-based Al Jazeera television station broadcast video footage of what it said were foreign forces, possibly British, on the ground near the rebel-held city of Misrata.
There were a number of armed men, some wearing sunglasses and keffiyahs, or traditional Arab headscarves, who moved off when they realized they were being watched, the footage showed.
Further deepening their involvement, Britain and France have said they will deploy attack helicopters over Libya to better pick out pro-Gaddafi forces. Helicopters are more vulnerable to attack from the ground than high-flying warplanes.
If the helicopters stay well behind rebel forces to shoot over them, risk of being shot down is reduced. But there will be a greater chance of the Libyans shooting down one of these than high-flying aircraft. Lose some pilots dead or captured (especially the latter) and will the will to fight remain? I assume the helicopters won't risk coming ashore to establish a base but will be based aboard the British amphibious warfare ship flying close enough to the coast to carry out missions over Misrata.
Just for simplicity of command and control, I also assume the French will focus on the coastal front west of Ajdabiya. That's another dozen attack helicopters, I believe.
Plus, the British are serving notice that leadership in deep bunkers will be struck:
Britain is to add "bunker-busting" bombs to the arsenal its warplanes are using over Libya, a weapon it said on Sunday would send a loud message to Muammar Gaddafi that it is time to quit.
So the hope is that the threat of someone's army (it has to be a rebel one now, unfortunately) following in the wake of the helicopter strikes or the threat of dying under the coming aerial "blitz" will crack the morale of Khaddafi's senior people who fear for their lives.
Then again, there is probably a greater risk of collateral damage if a deep-penetrating bomb hits a shelter full of civilians. Do that once and can NATO resist the pressure for an immediate ceasefire that will follow?
UPDATE: Well, the rebels seem ready to have a go at the loyalists:
Libya's rebel foreign minister says they are preparing to strike hard and soon against a weakened Moammar Gadhafi as he faces new defections, a crescendo of calls to surrender power and his weakened war machine is threatened by stronger NATO airstrikes.
The rebel army can't be much improved since last it went into battle on offense. It would certainly help if the helicopter and air strikes send the loyalists running first.