US Defense Secretary Robert Gates
Source: Press TV
Outgoing US Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the war in Libya will eventually lead to Muammar Gaddafi's downfall and a regime change in the country.
Gates said on Sunday that the Libyan regime is weakening gradually, noting that it is only a matter of time before it falls, Reuters reported.
“We are seeing the Gaddafi government weaken... I think this is going to end OK. I think Gaddafi will eventually fall,” he said, predicting that Gaddafi could possibly get killed by his military or even his own family.
The top military planner defended the US military involvement in Libya war, stating that US President Barack Obama does not need congressional approval for participation in NATO-led airstrikes in Libya.
Under the War Powers Resolution, passed by the US Congress in 1973, the president must seek lawmakers' approval to continue to engage in hostilities after 60 days and a 30-day extension.
He said Congress's green light is not required for “limited kinetic operations” in Libya.
Obama has rejected the word “hostilities” to describe the US involvement in Libya.
Gates also warned US lawmakers not to cut off funding for the Libya war, saying, "Frankly, I think cutting off funding in the middle of a military operation when we have people engaged is always a mistake.”
NATO has been pounding targets in Libya for months in what it says is an operation to protect civilians who rose up against 41-year rule of Gaddafi. The Libyan regime says it is an act of colonial aggression designed to steal oil.
On Saturday, Libyan ruler Gaddafi vowed to defeat NATO after warplanes of the Western military alliance bombarded parts of Tripoli.
Meanwhile, at least nine people were killed and dozens of others injured on Sunday after Gaddafi forces shelled the port city of Misratah.