Gadhafi allies blast attacks on Libya

Venezuela, Russia and the African Union are among the countries and organizations to come out against the Western attacks in Libya.
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi (left)and Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez in September 2009: Chavez has criticized the air attacks on Libya. ((Fernando Llano/Associated Press) )

Venezuela, Russia, China and the African Union are among the countries and organizations to come out against the Western attacks in Libya.

Britain, France and the United States launched strikes Saturday against Libya's air defence to help enforce the no-fly order approved by the United Nations and to protect Libyan civilians, the Pentagon said. 

But Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez condemned the strikes, claiming the attackers just want Libya's oil. 

Chavez, who is close to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and sharply critical of the U.S., said "they want to seize Libya's oil. The lives of Libya's people don't matter to them at all."

Cuba's Fidel Castro and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, allies of Venezuela, backed Chavez.

Russia expressed regret over the attacks, saying the UN Security Council Resolution that authorized the no-fly order was "adopted in haste."

The African Union opposed the military action. It plans to send a delegation to the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Sunday.

In Beijing, China expressed "regret" on Sunday over the attacks.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said China "consistently disagrees with the use of force in international relations" and expressed "regret" over the Saturday attacks.

China was among five countries that abstained from Thursday's vote on the UN resolution to authorize"all necessary measures" to stop Gadhafi.

Libya said Saturday the attacks rendered the UN no-fly resolution invalid. It asked for an urgent meeting of the Security Council "after the French-American-British aggression against Libya, an independent state member of the United Nations."

Canada is supporting the attacks to protect innocent Libyan civilians, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Saturday.


With files from The Associated Press