NATO reaches 'dead end' in Libya*
Tue Aug 2, 2011
The remains of a residential building damaged
in a NATO airstrike in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. (File photo)
The Russian foreign ministry has said that the NATO-led military offensive against embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi has reached a dead end.
The Russian foreign ministry's Middle East and North Africa department says the situation in Libya cannot be resolved by military means, AFP reported.
"The situation has reached a dead end that confirms that there is no military solution," Sergei Vershinin, the head of the department.
"We have to go back to searching for political and diplomatic solutions," he added.
Moscow abstained from a vote in March, on a UN Security Council resolution that allowed the West to unleash an offensive against Libya.
The US and NATO have unleashed a punishing, UN-mandated offensive against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to pressure him into giving up power.
NATO has conducted about 9,000 sorties over Libya since it assumed control of a military campaign in late March. The airstrikes by the military alliance have killed dozens of civilians as well as revolutionary fighters.
The US-led military alliance has admitted that its forces have killed scores of civilians and wounded many others in the ongoing aerial attacks on key Libyan cities.
Russia has repeatedly said that NATO military intervention in oil-rich Libya has gone far beyond the mandate authorized by the United Nations.
Libya has been the scene of intense fighting between government troops and revolutionary forces since mid-February.
The bloody conflict has left thousands of people dead and many others wounded.
Revolutionary forces want an end to Gaddafi's decades-long rule.
Critics accuse the West of hypocrisy over the offensive on Libya, along with its silence towards the brutal crackdowns on similar anti-regime movements elsewhere in the Arab world, such as in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
Experts say the main motive behind the Western attack on Libya is the vast oil reserves of the North African country.