We are succeeding in Libya: Obama
US President Barack Obama claimed success in the military campaign in Libya.
Washington: US President Barack Obama on Saturday
claimed success in the military campaign in Libya, asserting
that the forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi have been pushed back
and a "humanitarian catastrophe" has been averted.
In his weekly radio address today, Obama once again
ruled out sending any American ground forces to the north
African country and sought to project the campaign in Libya as
a completely multi-lateral mission.
"We`re succeeding in our mission. We`ve taken out
Libya`s air defences. Gaddafi`s forces are no longer advancing
across Libya. In places like Benghazi, a city of some 700,000
that Qaddafi threatened to show `no mercy`, his forces have
been pushed back," Obama said in his address to the nation.
Eight days into the military strikes in Libya, Obama
asserted that the intervention had saved many innocent lives.
"So make no mistake, because we acted quickly, a
humanitarian catastrophe has been avoided and the lives of
countless civilians innocent men, women and children have been
saved," he said.
Reiterating that the role of the US forces has been
limited, he asserted that there will not be any ground forces.
"We are not putting any ground forces into Libya. Our
military has provided unique capabilities at the beginning,
but this is now a broad, international effort.
"Our allies and partners are enforcing the no fly zone
over Libya and the arms embargo at sea," he said.
He also noted that key Arab partners like Qatar and
the United Arab Emirates have also committed aircraft.
"And as agreed this week, responsibility for this
operation is being transferred from the United States to our
NATO allies and partners," Obama said, adding this is how the
international community should work more nations, not just
the United States bearing the responsibility and cost of
upholding peace and security.
He said this military effort is part of US` larger
strategy to support the Libyan people and hold the Gaddafi
"Together with the international community, we`re
delivering urgent humanitarian assistance. We`re offering
support to the Libyan opposition. We`ve frozen tens of
billions of dollars of Gaddafi`s assets that can help meet the
needs and aspirations of the Libyan people.
"And every day, the pressure on Gaddafi and his regime
is increasing," he noted.
Obama said the message is "clear and unwavering" and
that Gaddafi`s attacks against civilians "must stop".
"His forces must pull back. Humanitarian assistance
must be allowed to reach those in need. Those responsible for
violence must be held accountable.
Obama said Gaddafi has lost the confidence of his
people and the legitimacy to rule, and the aspirations of the
Libyan people have to be realised.
Obama said the United States should not and cannot
intervene every time there`s a crisis somewhere in the world.
"But I firmly believe that when innocent people are
being brutalised; when someone like Gaddafi threatens a
bloodbath that could destabilise an entire region; and when
the international community is prepared to come together to
save many thousands of lives then it`s in our national
interest to act. And it`s our responsibility. This is one of
those times," he said.
The President said his country`s mission in Libya was
clear and focused on enforcing the mandate of the UN Security
Council along with the allies.
"And we`ve put in place a no fly zone and other
measures to prevent further atrocities," Obama said.