Gaddafi Remains Steadfast After Strikes On Tripoli
“We have only one choice: we will stay in our land dead or alive. We will not kneel. We will not surrender.”
Gaddafi’s proclamation came hours after what the New York Times called the “most intense” attack on Tripoli since NATO began airstrikes in March.
NATO officials have been warning the Libyan government that they’d be increasing the magnitude of attacks, according to Aljazeera.
Tuesday’s NATO action included more than 20 reported airstrikes, more than 50 bombs, and the destruction of barracks in a military compound. Libyan officials reported 10 to 15 deaths, though Western reporters have confirmed seeing just one body.
It was one of few daytime NATO strikes in the capital, occurring just before midday. So far, the great majority of the aerial raids have taken place under the cover of night.
A Russian diplomat visiting Benghazi Monday said Gaddafi had “lost legitimacy,” but the dictator was unrelenting in his address.
“Whether we are martyred, killed or commit suicide, we care about our duty towards history,” he said Tuesday. “We are stronger than your missiles, stronger than your planes, and the voice of the Libyan people is louder than your explosions.”
The Libyan people, however, remain split. NATO is assisting a rebel stronghold trying to oust Gaddafi for more than two months. Since the airstrikes began a slew of former Gaddafi supporters and government officials have reversed their position, most recently the country’s labor minister, Al-Amin Manfur, who announced his support for the rebels Tuesday.
In his address, Gaddafi inquired as to why NATO is continuing its attack.
“Did we cross the sea and attack you,” he asked. “Are you trying to force us into submission? You will not, and we will never submit.”
Instead, Gaddafi pledged to unleash as many as 500,000 armed troops across the country if the attacks do not cease.
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