‘Gaddafi may open up terrorism front to remain in power amid UN-backed air strikes concerns’

March 19th, 2011 - 2:11 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Washington, Mar 19 (ANI): US President Barack Obama’s top counter terrorism official has warned that Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who has a track record of being a sponsor of terrorism, might try to try to play its trump card to cling to power amid heightened worries of being attacked by UN-backed air strikes.

The New York Times quoted John O. Brennan as saying that the military attacks on civilians ordered by Gaddafi in recent days, and his track record of being a his terrorism sponsor had raised concerns within the Obama administration.

On being asked if American officials feared whether the Libyan dictator could open a new terrorism front, Brennan said: “Gaddafi has the penchant to do things of a very concerning nature. We have to anticipate and be prepared for things he might try to do to flout the will of the international community.”

Among the threats the United States is focusing on is Libya’s stockpile of deadly mustard gas, he said.

Meanwhile, Obama has issued a “non-negotiable ultimatum” to Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gadafi to accept an immediate ceasefire, pull back from the country’s rebel strongholds and permit humanitarian assistance, or be prepared to face UN-backed air strikes against his forces.

Obama said the US would help to co-ordinate a no-fly-zone, but not lead an operation that will include French, British and Arab jets.

The US President issued his warning after Gaddafi’s Foreign Minister, Moussa Koussa, claimed that he would accept a ceasefire in the wake of the UN security council resolution passed late on Thursday night authorising “all necessary measures short of an occupation force” to protect civilians.

“Muammar Gaddafi has a choice. The resolution that was passed lays out very clear conditions that must be met. The United States, the United Kingdom, France and Arab states agree that a ceasefire must be implemented immediately,” Obama said.

“Let me be clear: these terms are not negotiable. These terms are not subject to negotiation. If Gaddafi does not comply with the resolution the international community will impose consequences and the resolution will be enforced through military action,” he added. (ANI)

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