By Ria Novosti
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Saturday called on war with Italy, citing Italy’s ‘colonization’ attempts.
In a speech delivered at the Libyan state TV, Gaddafi said that he could not prevent war with Italy since Libyans wanted it.
“We are already in a war with Italy since Italians kill our children in 2011 as they did in 1911, that is why I cannot forbid Libyans to defend their lives and carry the military actions on the enemy’s territory,” Gaddafi said.
Libya was Italian colony from 1911 to 1941. In 2008 Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi signed a so-called Friendship Treaty with Gaddafi. Under this pact Italy paid 5 billion euro reparations to Libya for its colonial rule.
In late February Italy suspended the Friendship Treaty.
“Italy insists on repeating the crimes of 1911, in keeping with the same colonialist policy. This is the violent face of Italy. My friend Berlusconi and the Italian parliament are committing a crime,” Gaddafi said.
Italy is one of the 14 NATO countries, taking part in the operation Unified Protector in Libya, which includes airstrikes, a no-fly zone and naval enforcement of an arms embargo.
On Tuesday Berlusconi said that Italy would provide additional military support to NATO operation in Libya by authorizing air-to-ground strikes on pro-Gaddafi targets.
Later on Wednesday Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa announced that eight Italian combat aircraft will be directly involved in airstrikes against pro-Gaddafi forces.
Despite dozens of sorties carried out by NATO aircraft against Gaddafi’s forces, the government troops maintain their combat capability and continue to pound poorly-equipped rebels with heavy artillery and rocket fire.