While still at large on the heels of a dramatic sacking of his Bab Azizia compound by rebel forces, ousted Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi resurfaced to deliver a late Tuesday evening radio address to the Libyan people, Reuters reports.
In his address, the ousted dictator called his withdrawal a “tactical move” in the face of NATO “aggression,” citing that 64 NATO airstrikes that had leveled his compound.
“We are resisting with all our strength…we will either win or become martyrs, God willing,” Qaddafi said.
A spokesman for Qaddafi, Moussa Ibrahim, told Al-Orouba TV in a live interview after the address aired that the regime can resist for months or years.
He threatened to turn the country into a “burning volcano and a fire under the feet of the invaders,” BBC reported.
Ibrahim also claimed that the Qaddafi government controlled 80% of Tripoli, and that 6,500 volunteers had entered Tripoli “in the past six hours” and have spread throughout “all the streets of Tripoli” in order to repel the rebels.
Earlier Tuesday Qaddafi also spoke via telephone with the Russian head of the World Chess Federation, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is Qaddafi’s chess partner of many years.
IIyumzihinov said he received a phone call from Qaddafi’s son Mohammed around 6 p.m. Moscow time, who said that he was with his father and that he wanted to speak with him. Qaddafi told him that he remains in Tripoli and that he simply “wants to defend his country.”
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Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at email@example.com.