It was a message to the world. Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi has appeared live on national television from Tripoli in front of his supporters for a chilling warning to powers beyond his country’s borders.
“We will enter a bloody war and thousands and thousands of Libyans will die if the United States or NATO enters,” he said.
And to al-Qaeda he offered a diplomatic hand saying: “I am ready to debate with any one of them, one of their ‘emirs’ or whomsoever appoints himself, who comes to me to debate with me, but they do not debate … they do not have demands at all.”
The Libyan leader said his country would open its doors to an international investigation and urged the United Nations and NATO to “set up fact-finding committees” to find out how people were killed, adding that he saw a “conspiracy to control Libyan oil and its land.”
He also said Libya must investigate events stretching from al-Bayda to Benghazi, both cities in the east and which are now in rebel hands. He blamed what he called, “armed gangsters” for the unrest.
Gaddafi warns of a 'bloody war'