Nine News / MSN Australia & NDTV & NewsX & PBS & CNN & ITN Video – 2011-03-29 01:02:04
Putin Condemns Civilian Deaths in Libya
Nine News / MSN Australia
MOSCOW (March 23, 2011) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says anyone responsible for civilian deaths in Libya should be “praying for the salvation of their souls.”
Putin said on Tuesday that international forces’ air strikes on Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in the North African nation have resulted in civilian deaths.
There are no reliable civilian death tolls from Libya. Rebels say over 1,000 people have been killed in a month of fighting, while Muammar Gaddafi claims the toll is only 150.
Putin said in televised remarks from his meeting with his Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor in Ljubliana that the predominantly Western forces should not be “acting on their own.”
A day earlier, Putin called the United Nations resolution approving the military operation “a call for a crusade.”
Robert Gates: No Libya Civilian Deaths
NDTV & NewsX & PBS & CNN & ITN Video
(March 27, 2011) — US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates affirms that the intensity of the military campaign in Libya will ease soon, as allied forces imposed a no-fly zone on Muammar Gadhafiâ€™s regime, empowering rebels to strengthen their eastern Benghazi stronghold, while Libyan rebels in Benghazi have created a new national oil company to replace the corporation controlled by Gadhafi.
At a press conference in Moscow, Gates affirmed: The fighting â€œshould recede in the next few days.â€ Rebel fighters advanced on the key gateway city of Ajdabiya, which is currently held by Gadhafi loyalist troops, according to Associated Press.
Tensions between the US and Russia over coalition air strikes in Libya are high, with Moscow calling for an immediate cease-fire to protect civilians, while Washington affirms that the claims of Libyan casualties were Gadhafi lies.
Meanwhile, Gadhafiâ€™s army units continued to shell the western, rebel-held city of Misrata for a second day, residents confirm.
The massive conflict to oust Gadhafi and his cowardly, blood thirsty thugs, began in February in Benghazi, is the most deadly in a series of uprisings that have spread across the Middle East this year and ousted the leaders of both Egypt and Tunisia.
What the coalition, led by France, the US, and Britain will do next is a mystery, as Gadhafi remains in power and a no-fly zone called for by the United Nations Security Council is now in place. By way of comparison, the US imposed a no-fly zone over Iraq for twelve years before Saddam Hussein was ousted.
Jan Techau, director of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Brussels and former NATO defense analyst, said:
â€œIâ€™m not convinced we have much of a strategy or goals,â€
â€œOur own set-up and lack of a real plan is more worrying than a backlash in the Arab world, which so far isnâ€™t happening.â€
Contemporaneously, oil traded near its highest price in over a week as the airstrikes threatened to extend a supply disruption, while Libyan rebels in Benghazi have formed a new national oil company to replace the corporation controlled by Gadhafi.
Libya supplies 2% of the worldâ€™s oil, as poil reserves in Libya are the largest in Africa and the ninth largest on the planet, with 41.5 billion barrels (6.60Ã—10^9 m3) as of 2007. Libyaâ€™s assets were frozen by the United Nations Security Council.
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