Libyan leader threatens to destroy oil infrastructure

More Libyan diplomats resign to protest crackdown

Printer-friendly versionSend by email
Posted on: 
23 Feb 2011
Libyan leader threatens to destroy oil infrastructure

TIME magazine reported on Wednesday that embattled Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi, who earlier in the day had vowed on national television Tuesday evening to fight protesters "to my last drop of blood" has ordered security forces loyal to his regime to sabotage the countries oil facilities.

"The sabotage... is meant to serve as a message to Libya's rebellious tribes: It's either me or chaos," said the report, which quoted a source close to Qaddafi. It added that the regime only retains the loyalty of a few thousand soldiers in the military and that Qaddafi knows he cannot keep his position and reassert control over the country with the troops he has.

"Libya wants glory, Libya wants to be at the pinnacle, at the pinnacle of the world," Gaddafi inssited during his speech Tuesday, punctuating his points by pounding his fist on the podium."I am a fighter, a revolutionary from tents... I will die as a martyr at the end."

"You men and women who love Gaddafi... Get out of your homes and fill the streets," he said. "Leave your homes and attack them in their lairs," he continued. "The police cordons will be lifted, go out and fight them...for the defense of the revolution and the defense of Gaddafi."

Human Rights Watch estimates that over 300 people have been killed in Libya's protests so far, earning the condemnation of the UN, the Arab League and several world governments.

"The only thing we can do now is not give up, no surrender, no going back. We will die anyways, whether we like it or not. It is clear that they don't care whether we live or not. This is genocide," a Libyan women told AFP.

Tawfiq al-Shahbi, a protest organizer in the eastern city of Tobruk, claimed on Tuesday that opposition groups, which include several military units which have abandoned Gadaffi, now hold about half the cities along Libya's 1,600 km Mediterranean coast, from the Egyptian border in the east to the city of Ajdabiya. The region includes about half the country's oil infrastructure. Local tribes and civil authorities have begun to organize and are flying the flag of the pre-Gadaffi Libyan monarchy.

"All the eastern regions are out of Qadhafi's control... The people and the army are hand-in-hand here," said former army major Hany Saad Marjaa.

The Egyptian Army (MILPHOTOS)Refugees fleeing into Egypt reported that the regime is using tanks, warplanes and foreign mercenaries to fight the growing rebellion and Egyptian Army units, still scrambling to pick up the pieces from their own recent unrest, have taken up positions on the border in an effort to get control of the situation. The UN refugee agency has issued a statement urging Libya's neighbors to grant asylum to refugees fleeing the violence. Tens of thousands of foreign nationals from dozens of countries are also appealing to their home governments for help in evacuating the country.

Finally, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Nicaraguan strongman Daniel Ortega have stood by Gadaffi, who has been a steadfast ally of several anti-US Latin American leaders for decades.

"To me, it's absolutely clear that the government of the United States is not interested in peace in Libya," said the 84-year old Castro on Tuesday, adding that Washington "will not hesitate to give the order for NATO to invade that rich country, perhaps in the coming hours or days."

Peru meanwhile became the first country to break off diplomatic relations with Gadaffi's regime on Tuesday.


Share this: