NATO Promises to Keep Up Pressure on Qaddafi

NATO's secretary-general said on Monday that the military campaign in Libya is achieving its objectives but he added that pressure will be kept up until all attacks on civilians have stopped.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at a NATO forum in Bulgaria that the alliance's forces have seriously degraded Muammar al-Qaddafi's ability to kill his own people.

"Our operation in achieving its objectives. And we are preventing Qaddafi from achieving his," he said.

Rasmussen pointed to "significant" progress that had been made and stressed that NATO had prevented more massacres in Misrata and elsewhere.

"Qaddafi's reign of terror is coming to an end," Rasmussen said. Qaddafi is "increasingly isolated, at home and abroad."

"Even those closest to him are departing, defecting or deserting," he said urging that "it is time for Qaddafi to go as well."

The NATO head did not give a deadline for the end of the operation but said the crisis cannot be solved through military means alone.

"If we are to see genuine peace in the country, then a political solution will need to be found -- one that responds to the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people," Rasmussen said.