MOSCOW, April 12 (RIA Novosti) – The situation in Libya is out of control, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Chinese state television channel CCTV.
Rebels in Libya have been fighting forces loyal to longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi since mid-February. A NATO-led operation is enforcing a no-fly zone over the country in an attempt to prevent Gaddafi loyalists from attacking civilians.
“The situation is already out of control, no one controls it,” Medvedev said.
“Gaddafi is not controlling this situation as the country has been enveloped by civil war and he did lots of things that can be regarded as crimes,” he continued. “NATO is not controlling the situation because for obvious reasons, they have no mandate to conduct any large-scale operations…The rebels are not controlling this situation as they do not have the strength, funds or opportunity.”
“Whatever is said it [the situation] was not invented by other countries, it was not even invented by participants of this operation, it is a reflection of internal contradictions in Libya, and these contradictions were created by the existing regime,” Medevedev said.
Gaddafi has accepted an African Union road map to ending the civil war in the North African country, but rebels says they will not back down on their demand that Gaddafi must go.
NATO airstrikes destroyed 25 government tanks on Sunday, while heavy fighting continued in Ajdabiya where government forces have pushed back rebels, Al Jazeera reported. Ajdabiya is the last town before the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.
Government forces were also reported to have shot down two rebel helicopters flying in contravention of the UN-mandated no-fly zone, though this has not been verified.
NATO allies should step up their efforts to protect Libyans from Gaddafi’s forces, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday.