Friday, April 22, 2011

Russian Foreign Minister Warns West Against Ground Invasion of Libya

Russia warns against Libya ground oper.

Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:23PM

Russia's foreign minister says that a ground operation in Libya is 'extremely risky' and could have unpredictable consequences.

"We are not happy about the latest events in Libya, which are pulling the international community into a conflict on the ground. This may have unpredictable consequences," Reuters reported Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying in Slovenia on Thursday.

France, one of the main Western countries conducting airstrikes on Libya, has decided to send up to 10 military advisers to the North African country, reports say.

France has also promised to intensify NATO-led airstrikes to weaken Gaddafi's offensive.

Britain has also said it will send military officers to advise Libyan revolutionary forces.

"We can remember how instructors were first sent to some other countries, and later soldiers were sent there and hundreds of people died on both sides," Lavrov told a news conference.

In the meantime, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday that “President Barak Obama has approved the use of armed predator drones in Libya” to target Muammar Gaddafi's forces, Reuters reported.

Thousands of civilians have been killed since Western warplanes began their air assaults on Libya last month under a UN no-fly zone mandate.

Libyan anti-government forces, inspired by revolutions that toppled authoritarian rulers in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, are fighting to topple Gaddafi, who has ruled the country for over 41 years.

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