March 24, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / PRESS TV/ Reuters) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has expressed concern over the number of civilian deaths in Libya as some Western countries have launched airstrikes on the North African country.
Putin made the remarks on Wednesday during a visit to Belgrade, slamming the strikes which can result in more civilian casualties in Libya, Reuters reported.
“What do we see today? Strikes are being carried out across the entire territory of the country,” asking, “How can you, with the aim of protecting the peaceful population, choose means that lead to an increase of deaths among the civilian population?”
Russia abstained from the vote on the UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force to protect civilians against Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi’s troops, but did not veto the decision.
Putin had earlier said that the UN Security Council resolution on the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya resembled “medieval calls for crusades.”
Germany has already announced that it has pulled out of NATO operations in the Mediterranean and Italy says it will review the use of its bases for attacks on Libyan regime forces unless NATO leads the operations.
Russia, China and India as well as several other countries have also opposed the military campaign in Libya.
Despite the negative responses for US-led military operations in Libya, the United States still plans to transfer control of the military mission in Libya to an allied coalition in days with NATO playing a key role.
On Wednesday night, a huge explosion was heard on a military base in eastern Libyan capital Tripoli.
Medical personnel say at least 90 people have died in Misratah in the past five days.
Meanwhile, forces loyal to embattled Gaddafi reportedly killed at least 17 civilians, including five children in Misratah over the past 24 hours. (*)