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‘Campaign against Gaddafi could last beyond C’mas’
Published on 7 Jun. 2011 1:06 AM IST
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: British Foreign Secretary William Hague has admitted that the military campaign against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi could last beyond Christmas, as the Libyan dictator still has the capability to cling to power for some more time.
Britain and France have been attacking Gaddafi’s forces since March, and over the weekend, British Army Apache attack helicopters were deployed for the first time. A second raid overnight destroyed a multiple missile launcher near the town of Brega on the eastern front, stated ANI.
Although ministers claimed that the dictator is eroding from within, Hague has given a different picture altogether, saying that ‘it could take days or weeks or months’ to throw Gaddafi out of power.
Hague said that Britain was prepared to continue the operation in Libya even if it had to continue for the rest of the year, and refused to set any deadline, saying: “We’re not going to set a deadline. You’re asking about Christmas and who knows?”
He also revealed for the first time that British ground troops could be sent to Libya as peace keepers if they fail to overthrow Gaddafi from his post.
Though British ministers insist that their country would support Libya after a transition “for as long as it takes”, Hague insisted that Britain “does not normally play a large part in peacekeeping”.
Suggesting that other Western countries might provide troops for any post-Gaddafi mission, Hague said: “We are not looking at a major British role in a peacekeeping operation.”
Meanwhile, Gaddafi’s spokesmen have threatened that Libya would become chaotic if he was killed.

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