Obama: Gadhafi’s Death Marks End of Painful Era for Libya

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2011 — The death of Moam­mar Gad­hafi marks the end of a long and painful era for the Libyan peo­ple, Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma said today.

“For four decades, the Gad­hafi regime ruled the Libyan peo­ple with an iron fist,” Oba­ma said in the White House’s Rose Gar­den. “Today we can defin­i­tive­ly say that the Gad­hafi regime has come to an end. The last major regime strong­holds have fall­en. The new gov­ern­ment is con­sol­i­dat­ing the con­trol over the coun­try, and one of the world’s longest-serv­ing dic­ta­tors is no more.”

The peo­ple of Libya took their lessons from the Arab upris­ings in Tunisia and Libya and revolt­ed against Gad­hafi, the pres­i­dent said, but he was too pow­er­ful, and his forces moved against the rebel strong­hold of Beng­hazi. The world feared a blood­bath and act­ed quick­ly, Oba­ma said.

“Faced with the poten­tial of mass atroc­i­ties and a call for help from the Libyan peo­ple, the Unit­ed States and our friends and allies stopped Gadhafi’s forces in their tracks,” he said. “A coali­tion that includ­ed the Unit­ed States, NATO and Arab nations per­se­vered through the sum­mer to pro­tect Libyan civil­ians.”

Libyan rebels coa­lesced around the Tran­si­tion­al Nation­al Coun­cil and broke the back of the regime. “The dark shad­ow of tyran­ny has been lift­ed, and with this enor­mous promise, the Libyan peo­ple now have a great respon­si­bil­i­ty: to build an inclu­sive and tol­er­ant and demo­c­ra­t­ic Libya that stands as the ulti­mate rebuke to Gadhafi’s dic­ta­tor­ship,” Oba­ma said.

Amer­i­cans have assist­ed this effort to pro­tect Libyans from their blood­thirsty leader every step of the way, the pres­i­dent said.

“Our skilled diplo­mats have helped to lead an unprece­dent­ed glob­al response, our brave pilots have flown in Libya’s skies, our sailors have pro­vid­ed sup­port off Libya’s shores, and our lead­er­ship at NATO has helped guide our coali­tion,” he said. “With­out putting a sin­gle U.S. ser­vice mem­ber on the ground, we achieved our objec­tives, and our NATO mis­sion will soon come to an end.”

This effort shows the strength of Amer­i­can lead­er­ship, the pres­i­dent said.

“We’ve tak­en out al-Qai­da lead­ers, and we’ve put them on the path to defeat,” he said. “We’re wind­ing down the war in Iraq, and have begun a tran­si­tion in Afghanistan. And now, [work­ing with friends and allies in Libya], we’ve demon­strat­ed what col­lec­tive action can achieve in the 21st cen­tu­ry.”

Accord­ing to news reports, Libyan rebel forces killed Gad­hafi out­side Sirte dur­ing a 40-minute fire­fight. U.S. offi­cials have no direct con­fir­ma­tion of Gadhafi’s death, but the pres­i­dent did hear from the Libyan prime min­is­ter of the Tran­si­tion­al Nation­al Coun­cil, and White House offi­cials said he has “con­fi­dence” in the reports of the dictator’s death.

Spo­radic fight­ing con­tin­ues in Gadhafi’s home­town of Sirte, Navy Capt. John Kir­by, a Pen­ta­gon spokesman, said today. U.S. offi­cials said it is too ear­ly to tell when NATO’s Oper­a­tion Uni­fied Pro­tec­tor will con­clude, but that it prob­a­bly will end soon.

Oba­ma ordered U.S. forces to begin Oper­a­tion Odyssey Dawn on March 19. U.S. and coali­tion allies launched 110 Tom­a­hawk mis­siles to begin the oper­a­tion.

The objec­tives were to pre­vent fur­ther attacks by Gad­hafi regime forces on Libyan cit­i­zens and oppo­si­tion groups, espe­cial­ly around Beng­hazi, and to degrade the regime’s capa­bil­i­ty to resist the no-fly zone put in place under Unit­ed Nations Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tion 1973.

By March 20, the no-fly zone was effec­tive­ly in place, and by April 1, NATO had assumed com­mand of the oper­a­tion — chang­ing the name to Oper­a­tion Uni­fied Pro­tec­tor. Amer­i­can forces were in sup­port of a large coali­tion fly­ing strikes into Libya and stop­ping ships on the high seas that were seek­ing to break the U.N. embar­go on the North African coun­try.

From April 1 to Sept. 30, the Defense Depart­ment spent rough­ly $1.1 bil­lion on the oper­a­tion. This includes fund­ing dai­ly mil­i­tary oper­a­tions, muni­tions, the draw­down of defense sup­plies and human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance, Pen­ta­gon Press Sec­re­tary George Lit­tle said.

Since April 1, U.S. air­craft have flown 7,725 sor­ties in sup­port of Uni­fied Pro­tec­tor. The num­ber of U.S. strike sor­ties launched was 1,825, and the num­ber of Preda­tor sor­ties 145. The num­ber of U.S. strike sor­ties that dropped ord­nance was 397.

“We look for­ward to the announce­ment of the country’s lib­er­a­tion, the quick for­ma­tion of an inter­im gov­ern­ment and a sta­ble tran­si­tion to Libya’s first free and fair elec­tions,” Oba­ma said.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →