News24

British PM insists no ground forces for Libya

2011-04-17 22:51

London - Prime Minister David Cameron insisted on Sunday that Britain would not send ground forces into Libya but conceded the limits set by the UN resolution were making the campaign more difficult.

"What we've said is there is no question of an invasion or an occupation, this is not about Britain putting boots on the ground, this is not what we are about here," he said.

He stressed international forces would not go beyond the terms set by UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which authorises all necessary means to protect civilians in Libya but rules out a foreign occupation force.

"It is because we have said we are not going to invade, we are not going to occupy (that) this is more difficult in many ways because we can't fully determine the outcome with what we have available," said Cameron.

"But we are very clear that we must stick to the terms of the UN Security Council Resolution, we must keep the support of the Arab world," he added.

Britain is taking part in air strikes on Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi's forces with other Nato countries to enforce the UN resolution.

Government forces on Sunday pounded rebels with heavy artillery west of Ajdabiya, forcing hundreds of residents and some rebel fighters to flee the key crossroads town.