TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Foreign forces leading an assault against his government will lose and end up in the dustbin of history, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said on Tuesday.
“We will not surrender ... We will defeat them by any means,” Gaddafi said in brief remarks in the capital Tripoli broadcast live on television. “We are ready for the fight, whether it will be a short or a long one.”
“We will be victorious in the end.”
Foreign reporters in Tripoli were told the Libyan leader spoke at his Tripoli compound and was addressing supporters forming a human shield to protect him.
“I am staying here, my home is here, I am staying in my tent,” he told his supporters who waved green flags. “I am here, I am here, I am here.”
The speech marked Gaddafi’s first public appearance since March 15, although since then he has issued recorded audio remarks and granted interviews.
The event was followed by fireworks in the Libyan capital. Crowds could be heard cheering and shooting into the air in the city centre.
“There are demonstrations everywhere against this unjustified assault, which breaches the United Nations’ charter,” Gaddafi said of the international attacks.
“This assault ... is by a bunch of fascists who will end up in the dustbin of history.”