At least one million people are ready to defend Libya if an international ground military campaign begins, Libyan Ambassador to Russia Amir al-Arabi said on Tuesday.
“One million people willing to defend Libya will stand in the crosshairs,” al-Arabi said, adding that the Northern African state had several Soviet-made S-200 air-defense systems.
Speaking at the meeting with the colorful and flamboyant leader of Russia’s LDPR party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, al-Arabi said that mass disturbances that sparked on February 15 were “a scenario from outside.”
“Protesters’ demands are not social, it is some kind of a program…We were living peacefully, without any rows,” al-Arabi said.
Zhirinovsky, who has recently urged the Muslim world to support Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, said that his party was strongly against UN resolutions on Libya.
Russia was one of five countries, including China, that abstained from a UN Security Council resolution adopted on Thursday. The resolution imposes a no-fly zone over Libya and allows “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from leader Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on rebel-held towns.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday likened the UN resolution to a “call for a crusade.” The comments were swiftly rebuked by President Dmitry Medvedev, who described Putin’s remarks as “unacceptable.”
MOSCOW, March 22 (RIA Novosti)