Gaddafi's son: Libya not afraid of UN resolution

Saif al-Islam responds to UN Security Council decision to authorize military strikes on Libya; France, Norway to join int'l military action.

March 18, 2011 10:21
3 minute read.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

Saif Gaddafi 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Libya is not afraid of a UN resolution authorizing military strikes to protect Libyan civilians, Al Arabiya television quoted Saif al-Islam, one of Muammar Gaddafi's sons, as saying on Friday. Al Arabiya did not say where or when he made the remark.

The United Nations Security Council voted Thursday to authorize military force against Gadhafi’s forces.

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“Today the Security Council has responded to the Libyan people's cry for help,” US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said. “This Council's purpose is clear: to protect innocent civilians.”

France and Norway announced Friday that they will join the international military action against Gaddafi's forces.

French government spokesman Francois Baroin said on Friday that "The French, who led the calls [for action], will of course be consistent with military intervention." Asked to specify what that meant, he said "they will participate" in operations.

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The UN resolution demands the "immediate establishment of a cease-fire and a complete end to violence and all attacks, and abuses, of civilians." The resolution stipulates that member states, upon notification to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, can “take all necessary protect civilians and civilian populated areas, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory."

The Security Council’s authorization of the use of force also includes the enforcement of a no-fly zone to protect civilians, as well as an enforcement of the arms embargo, banning all international flights by Libyan owned or operated aircraft. The resolution also freezes the assets of certain individuals and five entities including critical state-owned Libyan companies. A newly established Libyan Sanctions Committee is empowered by the resolution to impose
sanctions on those who violate the arms embargo, including by providing Gadhafi with mercenaries. 

“The future of Libya should be decided by the people of Libya,” Rice said in her remarks to the Security Council. “The United States stands with the Libyan people in support of their universal rights.”

The resolution was backed strongly by France, the United Kingdom and Lebanon. Ten countries voted in favor of the resolution. Russia, China, Germany, India and Brazil abstained. 

"Our resolution is aimed to protect Libyan civilians," Lebanon’s ambassador to the UN Nawaf Salam said. "It will not result in the occupation of even an inch of Libyan territory."

The BBC has reported that raids conducted by unmanned drones could take place as early as Friday.

Gaddafi says will show 'no mercy, no pity' in Benghazi

The UN resolution came hours after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi threatened to storm the rebel bastion of Benghazi overnight, showing "no mercy, no pity".

Al Jazeera television showed thousands of Benghazi residents in a central square celebrating the UN vote, waving anti-Gaddafi tricolor flags and chanting defiance of the man who has ruled for four decades. Fireworks burst over the city.

Gaddafi had warned that only those who lay down their arms would be spared vengeance to be exacted on 'rats and dogs'.

"It's over. The issue has been decided," Gaddafi said. "We are coming tonight...We will find you in your closets. "We will have no mercy and no pity."

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