NATO vows to push on with Libya campaign

8th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

NATO will push ahead with its bombing campaign in Libya for as long as it deems there is still a threat from forces loyal to fugitive former leader Moamer Kadhafi, the alliance's chief said on Thursday.

Speaking after Kadhafi had vowed in his latest broadside that NATO would be defeated, the organisation's secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said it was time for the colonel to throw in the towel.

"NATO and our partners will continue the mission as long as the threat remains. Kadhafi and the remains of his machine must realise that there is nothing to be gained from more fighting," he said on a visit to Portugal.

"Libya is turning a new page. The future of Libya is now in the hands of the Libyan people," Rasmussen told reporters.

Rasmussen also defended the conduct of the seven-month air campaign, saying everything had been done to avoid civilian casualties.

"Our operation in Libya has been a great success," said the former Danish premier.

"We've been very cautious the way we've been conducting the operations to avoid civilian victims. We've prevented a massacre ... I don't think we could have done something diferent."

In his latest interview with a Syrian television station from his desert hideout, Kadhafi said NATO "will be defeated" as its "logistical capacities will not allow it" to press on with its campaign.

© 2011 AFP

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