Kadhafi 'not a target': British military chief

21st March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The head of Britain's armed forces said Monday that Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi was "absolutely not" a target for military action.

The chief of the defence staff, General Sir David Richards, said it was "not allowed" under the UN resolution authorising military action to protect civilians in Libya.

He was speaking after British Foreign Secretary William Hague refused to rule out that air strikes could specifically target Kadhafi.

But Richards flatly ruled out any attempt to target the Libyan leader.

"Absolutely not. It is not allowed under the UN resolution and it is not something I want to discuss any further," he told the BBC.

In an interview with BBC radio earlier, Hague declined to be drawn into the details of military targets.

When asked if international forces had the authority to kill Kadhafi if he continues to attack his own people, Hague replied: "I'm not going to speculate on the targets... that depends on the circumstances at the time."

He said the mission was "nothing more, or nothing less" than enforcing UN Security Council Resolution 1973, but added that Kadhafi would be judged "by his actions, not by words".

On Sunday Defence Secretary Liam Fox said the Libyan leader may be a legitimate target of international military action.

"Well, that would potentially be a possibility but you mention immediately one of the problems we would have, which is that you would have to take into account any civilian casualties that might result from that," he told the BBC.

© 2011 AFP

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