Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said Wednesday that his forces were being attacked by rebels "like Israeli tanks in the streets of Gaza, and similarly to what is happening in Afghanistan".
He called on the United Nations and NATO to investigate the facts about what had happened in Libya, and said he saw a conspiracy to colonise Libya and seize its oil.
"I dare you to find that peaceful protesters were killed. In America, France, and everywhere, if people attacked military stores and tried to steal weapons, they will shoot them," he said in a speech.
Forces loyal to Gaddafi launched a major fightback in Libya's east on Wednesday, sparking a rebel warning that foreign military help might be needed to "put the nail in his coffin" and end his long rule.
The Herald Tribune reported Wednesday that Turkey had offered to spearhead a NATO offensive against Libyan forces in exchange for acceptance into the European Union. US President Barack Obama supports the offer, diplomats told the paper.
Meanwhile, in his televised speech, Gaddafi said he was not a president and so could not resign his position. "Muammar Gaddafi is not a president to resign, he does not even have a parliament to dissolve,"he said in a speech, adding that he held "no position from which to step down."
"The Libyan system is a system of the people and no one can go against the authority of the people. .. The people are free to choose the authority they see fit," he said.
"We put our fingers in the eyes of those who doubt that Libya is ruled by anyone other than its people," he told an applauding audience shown on Libyan television, referring to his system of "direct democracy" which he outlined in his Green Book political manifesto.
Washington 'keeping pressure on Gaddafi'
Wednesday also saw government troops briefly capturing Marsa El Brega, an oil export terminal, before being driven back by rebels who have controlled the town 800 km east of the capital Tripoli for about a week, rebel officers said.
Arab television and rebel officers said earlier the Libyan military operation was successful but a spokesman for the opposition coalition in Benghazi said Gaddafi forces had fled.
Anti-Gaddafi forces have been firmly in charge of eastern Libya up to Marsa El Brega and some areas beyond, since shortly after anti-government protests erupted in mid-February.
Coinciding with the offensive, state television broadcast images that it said showed security officers killed in the eastern Libya. It showed about 10 corpses with their hands tied behind their backs and with pools of blood around their heads.
The assaults appear to have been the most significant military moves in the east by Gaddafi since the uprising began two weeks ago and set off a confrontation that Washington says could descend into a civil war unless Gaddafi steps down.
"We are going to keep the pressure on Gaddafi until he steps down and allows the people of Libya to express themselves freely and determine their own future," Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations, told ABC's "Good Morning America".
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