'Troops control 90% of Libya'

2011-03-12 19:01
Rome - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam told Italian newspapers published on Saturday the army had regained control over "90% of the country" and would totally defeat rebels.

"Now 90% of the country is under our control and soon it will be all over," said Seif al-Islam, adding that compromise between the regime and the rebels was out of the question.

In interviews with Italian newspapers Corriere della Sera and Repubblica, Gaddafi's second son swore there would be "a war to the end" with the rebels, describing the insurgents as "a snake that strikes without warning".

"These terrorists are not speaking about democracy, elections or values. They are simple terrorists," he said.

Poised and fluent in English, Seif al-Islam was until recently his father's best public relations asset, presenting himself as a progressive defender of human rights.

'Rivers of blood'

But in recent weeks Gaddafi's high profile son has publicly defended the Libyan regime's heavy-handed crackdown on protesters and rebels, even warning that "rivers of blood" would flow if the country slipped into civil war.

In the interviews published on Saturday, Gaddafi's son recognised his father's regime had made some mistakes, saying Libya was a "bit late in building a modern army, a modern police, a new economy and a freer society".

When asked about France's recognition of the rebels in eastern Benghazi as the true representatives of the Libyan people, he dismissed French President Nicolas Sarkozy as "bizarre".

"He is talking about people who proclaimed themselves the 'Council for Libya'. But who are they? Did you see elections take place? A referendum?"

'We are shocked'

Seif al-Islam also blasted Italy, Libya's key commercial partner and its former colonial ruler, accusing it of "treason" and threatening "economic retaliation".

"We are shocked and even irritated by your position," he said, addressing Italy. "When you betray a partner how do you think he will react?"

Seif al-Islam said Italy would be the "first victim" if rebels took control over Libya "as terrorists and illegal immigrants would set sail from Tripoli to Lampedusa and Sicily".

"The message to Italy is very simple: the Libyan people are united and soon we will win against the terrorists. Then we will settle accounts with the rest of the world."

"It will be very easy to replace Italy with China or Russia," he said.

Message to Italy

And in a message addressed particularly to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is known to have close ties with the Libyan strongman, Seif al-Islam said: "Libya is a frontline for Italy.

"What is happening here now will determine what will happen in your country tomorrow."

The former colonial power in Libya, Italy was initially reluctant to let go of Gaddafi but then followed the international community, while trying not to jeopardise its ties with the oil-rich North African country.
Read more on:    silvio berlusconi  |  seif al-islam gaddafi  |  muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  italy  |  north africa  |  libya protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
17 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to be too fixed on a set way of doing things today. You may get challenged and the best approach is to keep an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.