Obama defends U.S. military air raids in Libya

08:51, March 22, 2011      

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Visiting U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday defended the U.S. military actions against Libya, saying the U.S. military actions are in accordance with the UN resolution adopted to solve the Libya crisis.

"Our military actions are supported by the United Nations Security Council, which approved a humanitarian mission in that country," Obama said, adding that Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi " must leave" power.

Obama was speaking in a joint press conference with his Chilean counterpart Sebastian Pinera during a tour of Latin America where he has visited Brazil and will go to El Salvador.

Obama said the United States "will not show compassion towards someone who kills and murders his people" and stressed the importance of applying bilateral and international sanctions against the Libyan government.

Obama said the intervention in Libya was based on "an international agreement against Gaddafi and to support the military actions in Libya" which even included a request by the Arab League for the creation of a no-fly zone over Libya in order to defend the civilian population.

"I want to say that we are working with our international partners and we have neutralized Gaddafi's air forces and we have a large coalition, formed even by the Arab League," he said.

"We have for two days been stopping Gaddafi's forces and we continue to evaluate the situation in the land, as the Pentagon will report on the evolution of these operations," he said.

"When there is a humanitarian crisis and a leader who has lost the confidence of his people, and uses weapons against them, we have to take actions," Obama said and added that not only the United States is carrying out the raids but an international coalition.

"I am proud of our armed forces' development in Libya. Our army has a lot of work all over the world and now we must receive help from other countries, so we will have an international mission," he said.

The coalition is now taking control of the air zone in order to support the civilian population, he added.

Source: Xinhua

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