Nato, which has now taken full control of the military operation in Libya, has said it will protect the civilian population of the country "against all attacks".
Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Today presenter John Humphrys that the UN resolution was "very clear" about the mission.
The question over whether rebel forces could come under Nato attack was "hypothetical" he said, as so far it had been the Gaddafi regime that had attacked civilians.
But he was absolutely clear that the UN resolution "applies to both sides".
"I would strongly urge all parties involved to find a peaceful and political solution as soon as possible," he said.
But reporting from Benghazi, Kevin Connolly said that the rebels felt they had a "private understanding" of the Nato mission.
"They believe the western world has joined them in a campaign of regime change," he said.
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