Son of Libya's Gaddafi tells West: "You cannot win"

  • World
  • Monday, 04 Jul 2011

PARIS (Reuters) - Western powers are doomed to lose their military campaign to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, one of his son's said in an interview with French television, and their air strikes against government forces had made them "legitimate targets".

Saif al-Islam told the private French television station TF1 that his father had no intention of leaving the country as part of negotiations to end the conflict with rebels wanting an end to his four-decade rule.

Asked if he had a message for French President Nicolas Sarkozy, one of the driving forces behind the Western intervention in Libya, Saif said:

"You are not going to win. You have no chance, zero chance, to win the war here," he told TF1.

"If you are angry with us because we are not buying the Rafale airplanes, you should talk with us," he said, a reference to the Dassault-built French warplane that Paris had been trying to sell to Tripoli before the uprising against Gaddafi.

"If you are angry with us because oil deals are not going well, you should talk to us. Rebels will not give you anything because they are not going to win," Saif said.

The Libyan leader's son, like his father subject of an international arrest warrant on charges of crimes against humanity for his role in the deaths of civilians demanding Gaddafi's ouster, said the Libyan authorities were prepared to make concessions to some western demands but would fight for their country.

"You want democracy, we are ready. You want elections, we are ready. You want, what, a new constitution? We are ready. Ceasefire? We are ready. But, the other side is refusing, all the time," he said.

"But to tell my father to leave the country, it's a joke. We will never surrender. We will fight. It's our country."

"We have to fight for our country and you are going to be legitimate targets for us," he added.

In a telephone address relayed to tens of thousands of supporters in Tripoli's Green Square on Friday, Gaddafi urged NATO to halt its bombing campaign or risk seeing Libyan fighters descend on Europe "like a swarm of locusts or bees".

(Writing by Jon Boyle)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Did you find this article insightful?


Next In World

France eyes possible easing of COVID restrictions from mid-April
Serbia's Orthodox Patriarch goes into isolation after coronavirus contact
SOS call to local paper saves 81 Rohingya at sea, but no country says welcome
Britain has condemned Khashoggi murder, PM Johnson says
It's not vaccine diplomacy but global public service, says China of its aid to countries
North Korea measures to stem COVID-19 worsen abuses, hunger - U.N. expert
EU's Michel says EU united and firm over Russia sanctions related to Navalny
Labour rights issue at forefront of Spain’s gig economy with potential regulation
Hungary's Fidesz party leaves largest EU parliamentary group
Musk floats ‘Starbase’ name change for Texas launch town

Stories You'll Enjoy