Washington, March 26 (DPA) US President Barack Obama said Saturday the allied military mission in Libya was succeeding and the country’s leader Muammar Gaddafi must be held responsible for his actions.
In his weekly radio address, Obama also called for Gaddafi to stop attacks against civilians.
“We’re succeeding in our mission,” Obama said. “We’ve taken out Libya’s air defences. Gaddafi’s forces are no longer advancing across Libya.”
“So make no mistake, because we acted quickly, a humanitarian catastrophe has been avoided and the lives of countless civilians – innocent men, women and children – have been saved.”
Obama also praised the international community for its involvement, after NATO agreed to take over the enforcement of the no-fly zone. He vowed that US involvement would remain limited and that no ground forces would be sent into Libya.
“This military effort is part of our larger strategy to support the Libyan people and hold the Gaddafi regime accountable,” Obama said, adding that efforts to freeze assets and cut off the regime have increased pressure on Tripoli.
“Our message is clear and unwavering,” he said. “Gaddafi’s attacks against civilians must stop. His forces must pull back. Humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach those in need. Those responsible for violence must be held accountable. Muammar Gaddafi has lost the confidence of his people and the legitimacy to rule, and the aspirations of the Libyan people must be realised.”
Obama was scheduled to speak to the US public about the conflict in Libya in an address Monday evening in Washington.