Libya: Belarusian President Lukashenko says NATO ‘did worse than the Nazis’

MINSK (BNO NEWS) -- Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who is often called the last dictator of Europe, has described the NATO-led operation in Libya as 'vandalism' and said the multinational alliance did 'worse than the Nazis.'

NATO carried out hundreds of airstrikes during this year's civil war in Libya after the United Nations (UN) Security Council authorized its member states to impose a no-fly zone over the North African country and take 'all necessary measures' to protect civilians, who were being targeted by forces loyal to then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

When asked what he thought about the situation in Libya, Lukashenko told reporters that he saw NATO's operation as an 'act of 21st century vandalism.' "How can we view this? Extremely negative. How can we regard the actions of NATO forces in Libya? As a violation of the mandate of the UN Security Council."

Lukashenko, who described the UN Security Council as 'stupid' and 'brainless', accused the UN and NATO of helping 'aggressors' in Libya. "During the aggression, the country's leadership has been murdered, not only Muammar Gaddafi," he said. "Besides, he was killed by NATO special forces. They mocked him, tortured him, raped the injured man, broke his arms and then killed him. They did worse than the Nazis in their time."

Gaddafi was captured on October 20 by fighters supporting Libya's transitional government as he tried to flee his hometown Sirte. He was eventually shot dead but it remains unclear whether he was executed by his captors or if he was killed during fighting between pro-Gaddafi and anti-Gaddafi forces.

Lukashenko was apparently also referring to video which was released a day after Gaddafi's death. It showed how an unidentified man sodomized Gaddafi with an object before he was eventually killed.

As for the future, Lukashenko said the situation in Libya will be 'much worse' than in Tunisia and Egypt, where revolutions also took place this year and resulted in radical Islamist parties gaining more support. "The situation in Libya will be even worse because there are huge reserves of natural resources," he said. "Everyone has rushed to get there."

He added: "Besides, the United States, Italy, France and Germany have up to $150 billion of Libyan money now. They are very interested to grab this wealth."

But the Belarusian leader claimed the West is not happy with the change of power in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. "They cannot control this. It is an act of vandalism of the 21st century, which should not happen. But such actions show the face of our so-called teachers of democracy. Do you need this kind of democracy?"

"God forbid that this policy and these actions will prevail across the globe," Lukashenko told reporters.

NATO officials did not want to respond directly to Lukashenko's critical remarks but said the alliance took every precaution to avoid civilian casualties in Libya. "Operation Unified Protector was conducted with unprecedented precision and unprecedented care," one NATO official said.

The official added: "NATO took every precaution to avoid civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure. The Libyan people and the National Transitional Council (NTC) are aware of this and have repeatedly thanked NATO for our efforts."

And although NATO conducted numerous airstrikes during its operation, the official denied claims that troops were on the ground. "There were no NATO troops on the ground at any stage in the campaign. And no individuals were targeted by the operation at any point," the official added.

The NTC declared the full liberation of the country last month and appointed Abdurrahim El-Keib as interim Prime Minister on Monday. It is estimated more than 25,000 people were killed during the eight-month-long conflict.

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