Gaddafi defeat is 'only a matter of time'

2011-08-23 13:43

London - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is cornered and his defeat is "only a matter of time", British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said on Tuesday.

Clegg insisted the defiant appearance of Gaddafi’s son and presumed successor Saif al-Islam in Tripoli, a day after rebels said they had captured him, was "not the sign of some great comeback for the Gaddafi regime".

"He is not roaming freely through Tripoli. He and the remaining pro-Gaddafi forces are now cornered, they are making their last stand, and it's only a matter of time before they are finally defeated.

"About that we are very confident indeed."

Clegg said there would continue to be "frustrations and setbacks" in the battle for control of Tripoli, but despite fierce fighting he insisted that rebel forces still controlled much of the capital.

"Our assessment is that Free Libya forces now control much, but not all, of Tripoli," he said.

Saif, who is wanted for war crimes, turned up in the early hours of Tuesday at a hotel in Tripoli where foreign journalists are staying and insisted the capital was under the regime's control.

The International Criminal Court had said on Monday he had been detained after rebel fighters streamed into the capital, but it admitted on Tuesday that it had never received official confirmation of his arrest.

Clegg chaired a meeting of Britain's National Security Council, bringing together military chiefs and ministers to discuss the situation in Libya, in the absence of Prime Minister David Cameron who has rejoined his family on holiday.

But Clegg insisted that Cameron was in close contact with other world leaders and Libya's rebel National Transitional Council.

"He is in constant contact with other world leaders and indeed with leaders of the National Transitional Council in Libya and that is exactly the way we will continue to operate," he said.

  • SP - 2011-08-23 14:01

    Wow CNN, Fox, BBC and all those other bastions of "truth" are pushing this war propaganda hard now, meanwhile the independent journalists and news agencies are all reporting a very much different situation at the moment

      Anton - 2011-08-23 14:26

      SP, I do respect the opinions of others, even if they are so different of mine. But, when one starts with this critism of the BBC, CNN, etc, I find it a bit childish. it reminds me of this little schoolgirl, who tells her friends, she does not want to waste her time watching soapies, and than rushes home after school, not to miss the next episode of Isidingo !!!! But, if it makes you happy, go for it !!

      Dmitri - 2011-08-23 14:35

      The beeb are not exactly known for their unbiased reporting. Just need to look at the London riots to see what I am referring to.

      Ryan Tunney - 2011-08-23 15:45

      By tomorrow night everything will be done an dusted.

  • the_nazi - 2011-08-23 14:03

    Only a matter of time huh?

      Andrew - 2011-08-23 17:24

      That's what they said about Vietnam and Iraq. Might be over for the some but for those locals who stay will need to mop up the pieces and get on with their lives. Hopefully there will not be the chaos like after the Iraq thing.

  • open-minded - 2011-08-23 14:04

    they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions...I guess the majority of Libyan people are paving their way to HELL right now...

  • open-minded - 2011-08-23 14:09

    they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions...I guess the majority of Libyan people are paving their way to HELL right now...

  • Jay - 2011-08-23 14:44

    VIVA LA RESISTANCE!!!! THE COLONEL WILL NOT FALL.....CHEAP OIL ANT COMING YOUR WAY ANYTIME SOON YOU DIRTY BRITS!!!! viva la resistance viva la jihad......Gadaffi for sheezy!!!

      Tolerant - 2011-08-23 15:03

      Colonel Sanders? You might be right that Gaddafi will be the new resistance when he flees.

      Ryan Tunney - 2011-08-23 15:49

      So how long is this jihad going to far as I know it's been going on since the 1700s. When is victory going to finally come?

  • Sisie - 2011-08-23 15:22

    Yeah!Yeah!Yeah! they have been saying this since this whole thing started. Tell me when it's OVER.

  • William - 2011-08-23 15:25

    They ( NATO ) started the war on the pretext that they were protecting civilans!!. I wonder what Britain or France would have done if part of their country is taken over by some thugs opposed to the regime in power? They would have done exactly what Qaddafi did to try to quell the rebellion.So they have pimp any small gains by the REBELS to the extent of misinformation. " The end justfies the means". I only hope that the same guys they are supporting now do not turn against them in future.

      Anton - 2011-08-23 16:11

      William, Just for your info; If in Britain or in France one does like their government, one has this thing called "elections" If one gets enough support, there will be a new government!!!! But, if one would not have elections, and one would be stuck with the same government for fourty two years, than one would have the same situation in Britain and France, as in Libya today. Its simple as that !!!

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