EU Waits For U.N. Go Ahead To Send Troops To Libya
But the EU must obtain United Nations approval before it can deploy military forces into the country.
Any troops sent into Libya would not engage in combat unless they or the humanitarian aid they are protecting are threatened.
"It would be to secure sea and land corridors inside the country," said an official for the EU.
At the beginning of April, the 27 EU states agreed that they would send military forces if the U.N. said they wanted their help.
So far, the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has declined the EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton's formal offer.
Valerie Amos, head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, has responded to Ashton by saying she would prefer first to explore civilian options as it could be counter-productive for military forces to be involved, an EU official said.
Amos on Monday said she was extremely worried about the situation in Misrata. "No one has any sense of the depth and scale of what is happening there," she said.
Diplomats have said there is growing pressure on the U.N. to allow EU forces to enter Libya.
"We're at the point of saying we may need to support aid being delivered," said one EU diplomat in Brussels. "So you need people with military capability. The EU has two battle groups ready."
If the EU does get approval from the U.N., as many as 1,000 troops could be sent in. The EU has nearly 1,500 troops currently on standby in its two battle groups.
Misrata has been the scene of intense fighting over the last seven weeks with hundreds of civilians killed.
The U.N. has been granted access to Misrata by the Libyan government. However, the government did not guarantee a ceasefire during any U.N. work in the city.