Just hours before the UN Security Council is set to vote on a resolution to impose not only a no-fly zone over Libya but also authorize the use of air strikes to stop the advance of forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan government has reacted with retaliatory tones, saying that such a decision would open counterstrikes by Libya against any “air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea” as well as “civilian and military facilities in the country.”
From Reuters: Any foreign attack on Libya will endanger air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean basin and expose the area to both short and long term risks, the Defence Ministry said in a statement broadcast on Libyan television.
The statement said Libya would strike back at civilian and foreign targets if the country comes under attack from foreign forces.
“Any foreign military act against Libya will expose all air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea to danger and civilian and military (facilities) will become targets of Libya’s counter-attack,” said the statement.
“The Mediterranean basin will face danger not just in the short-term, but also in the long-term,” it said.
France, the only country to recognize the interim rebel council in Benghazi, believes that once the resolution is passed a military intervention against Gaddafi forces could take place within hours.