Published: Mar 21, 2011 4:56 PM EDT
Updated: Mar 21, 2011 1:57 PM EDT

LONDON- U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday that coalition forces have neutralized Libyan air defenses and helped avert a bloodbath in the North African country.

The prime minister told British lawmakers that Moammar Gadhafi had violated a U.N. Security Council resolution by moving troops toward rebel-held cities and also had lied to the international community. "

Gadhafi responded to the U.N. resolution by declaring a ceasefire, but straightaway it was clear he was breaking that promise," Cameron told lawmakers.

Cameron stressed that through airstrikes, coalition forces helped avert what could have been "a bloody massacre in Benghazi."

The aims behind coalition airstrikes - which Cameron called "neccessary, legal and right" - were to suppress Libyan air defenses to enable the enforcement of a no-fly zone and to protect civilians. "Good progress has been made on both fronts," Cameron said.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)