The ongoing West-led “Odyssey Dawn” military operation against Libya, which was launched on March 19, apparently is adding fuel to the fire of the Libyan crisis instead of bringing the light of “dawn” to the North African country.
The operation, dominated by Western powers including France, Britain, the United States and Italy, has caused huge civilian casualties, building and infrastructure damage and hundreds of thousands of refugees. It has escalated the Libyan conflict, which started in mid-February.
It apparently has overstepped the authorization of the UN resolution on Libya adopted on March 17, raised questions and triggered disturbance in the region and around the world at large.
The resolution imposed a no-fly zone over Libya, but the West-led air strikes went far beyond the limit as they vehemently hit the Libyan army’s tanks, artillery and rocket projectiles.
As early as last Sunday, Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa said, “What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone.”
Meanwhile, the operation was initiated under the pretext of “humanitarian” assistance and protecting Libyan civilians, but the results, ironically, turned out to be more civilian deaths and a deteriorating humanitarian crisis.
Libyan authorities said over 100 civilians had been killed by the air strikes, and the UN Refugee Agency said over 350,000 Libyan refugees had fled the country up to Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin flatly questioned the operation: “What do we see today? Strikes are being carried out across the entire territory of the country. How can you, with the aim of protecting the peaceful population, choose means that lead to an increase of deaths among the civilian population?”
The operation may prolong volatility and insurgency in Libya, which might spill over to neighboring countries.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development in Eastern Africa recently said, “Our fear is that what is happening now in Libya may motivate terrorist groups in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq to regroup on the African soil.”
In Homer’s glorious ancient Greek epic poem “The Odyssey,” the Greek hero Odysseus, after the fall of the Troy city, finally managed to return home and accomplished his long-cherished dream after a 10-year arduous trek.
However, the West-led Odyssey Dawn operation is complicating and worsening the situation in Libya and bringing about more sufferings to the Libyan people. The real “dawn” for the Libyan people, alleged as the operation’s aim, apparently is still far, far away.