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West aggressive policy becomes conspicuous as Libyan opposition advances: Russian expert

(Xinhua)

10:14, August 23, 2011

MOSCOW, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- As the opposition forces in Libya stormed into the capital of Tripoli, the aggressive nature of the West has become more and more conspicuous, a Russian political expert said Monday.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's defeat has been inevitable because he confronted the united Western coalition, Col. Gen. Leonid Ivashov, president of the Moscow Academy for the Geopolitical Problems, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

"The West changed its tactic in Libya, compared to those used in Iraq where the ground operation was conducted to oust Saddam Hussein. Now Western political and military strategists hired mercenaries, formed armed groups of local residents, paid them, and supported them from air," Ivashov said.

The Western tactic proved to be successful, the expert said.

Libyan rebels swarmed into the highly symbolic Green Square at the heart of Tripoli early Monday, merely two days after they launched an offensive against the capital in the final push against Gaddafi's government. Two of the Libyan leader's sons, Saif El Islam and Saadi Gaddafi, were captured.

It was clear from the very beginning that Gaddafi's regime would be unable to counter West neither politically, nor economically, nor militarily, Ivashov noted.

"Gaddafi has been under sanctions, under continuous air strikes. He ran out of ammunition and military equipment. NATO fighters hunted his every tank, thus making the rebels' advance easier," the Russian expert said.

"It was not the war between Gaddafi and the rebels. It was the war between Gaddafi and the West. The balance of power has been against him. His military defeat has been predetermined by Western sanctions coupled with Western military superiority," the expert explained.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday that the dramatic events in Libya proved that power may be handed over to rebels "very soon," hoping this would bring an end to the protracted Libyan bloodshed.

Ivashov echoed the ministry's statement by saying that "the days, or even hours, of Gaddafi are counted."

Also on Monday, the Russia Foreign Ministry urged all countries to refrain from interference in Libya's internal affairs in the wake of the latest developments in the North African state.

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