Qaddafi Arms Citizens

Qaddafi terms international forces “Hitler” and plans to arm citizens in response. Russia, Arab League criticize international action.

Maayana Miskin , | updated: 8:50 PM

Muammar Qaddafi
Muammar Qaddafi
Israel news photo: Wikimedia Commons

The international offensive against Muammar Qaddafi's regime in Libya continued Sunday. Leaders in Britain, France and the United States expressed satisfaction with the direction the offensive has taken, saying they have hit 20 out of 22 desired targets.

Libyan media announced that Qaddafi plans to arm at least one million citizens in response, allowing them to fight rebel forces.

Qaddafi also vowed to “exterminate” any Libyan who fought alongside foreign forces. He continued to rant against foreign leaders – after calling them “terrorists,” he went on to term them “the new Hitler” and to taunt, “You will be defeated like Hitler and Mussolini... You will die.”

U.S. and European officials said Sunday that they are not planning a ground invasion of Libya. Rather, they plan only to take out Qaddafi's air force, giving rebel troops a chance to oust the leader.

“This is all about creating the space for the Libyan people to take their own decisions for the future,” said British Chancellor George Osborne.

However, the international intervention faced opposition. The Arab League, which previously supported an international proposal to close Libya's skies, condemned the operation. “What we want is civilians' protection, not shelling more civilians,” an Egyptian daily quoted Arab League head Amr Moussa as saying.

Russia called Sunday to “stop indiscriminate use of force” by foreign states in Libya, and accused the states involved of going beyond a United Nations mandate. “We proceed from the inadmissibility of using the Resolution 1973 mandate... for ends that clearly overstep its framework, which stipulates only measure to protect the civilian population,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

For an in depth analysis of Russia and China's motives, click here.