Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Libya ground attack likely: Russia

A Libyan soldier stands beside a crater caused by airstrikes on Monday night, at a naval military facility in eastern Tripoli, March 22

Source: Press TV

Russia's foreign policy advisor, Sergei Prikhodko, has said that the United States and its European allies will certainly launch a ground invasion of Libya, if the airstrikes are not effective.

"We understand that sooner or later, if the air operation gets bogged down, a ground operation will be inevitable, whatever they tell us," Pikhodko said.

"There is no coordinated plan in place and the operation can drag on," AFP quoted Pikhodko as saying on Wednesday.

Russia abstained from the UN Security Council resolution 1973 which authorized the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya to “protect civilians” from air attacks by Muammar Gaddafi loyalists.

After the resolution, US, British and French fighter jets embarked on airstrikes on Libya, spawning severe criticism from around the world as the attacks sustained civilian casualties.

Russia has strongly condemned the military action on Libya, saying the purpose of the resolution contradicts what the military alliance is doing in the African country.

The US-led military alliance has reportedly escalated its aerial attacks on several strategically-important cities across Libya, killing many civilians.

As strikes continue, more division is looming among members of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) over a plan initiated by the US to replace the US-Britain-France alliance against Libya with NATO.

Germany has already announced that it has pulled out of NATO operations in the Mediterranean and Italy says it will review the use of its bases for attacks on Libyan regime forces unless NATO leads the operations.

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