Qaddafi: Libyans will "fight" no-fly zone

Libyan Leader Muammar Qaddafi arrives at a hotel to give television interviews in Tripoli, Libya, March 8, 2011. AP

Muammar Qaddafi says Libyans will fight if a no-fly zone is imposed by Western nations, saying that would show their real intention is to seize the country's oil.

Qaddafi made his remarks during an interview aired Wednesday by Turkey's state-run TRT Turk television. The interview was conducted on Tuesday night.

He was responding to U.S. and British plans for a response to Libya, including imposing a no-fly zone to prevent Qaddafi's warplanes from striking rebels.

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As the West continues deliberating the option of locking down Libya's airspace, CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reports that the rebels fighting against Qaddafi's regime are struggling to keep their momentum on the ground.

The Libyan army has continued to pound the town and the people of Zawiyah, just outside the capital, which has been held for weeks by rebels, reports Phillips. The anti-Qaddafi rebels have resisted an increasingly ferocious assault there, and stayed defiant.

VIDEO: Battle for Zawiyah rages on

For Col. Qaddafi, this pocket of resistance just 30 miles from Tripoli is an embarrassment on his doorstep, one that flies in the face of his claim that the rebellion has been brought under control. He's sent in the most notoriously ruthless unit in the Libyan army -- the Khamees Brigade, headed by one of his sons -- to shoot them down.

Qaddafi claimed in the video aired Wednesday that an internationally imposed no-fly zone would lead Libyans to understand the foreigners' aims to seize oil and take their freedoms away. He says if it happens "Libyans will take up arms and fight."

President Obama was to meet his closest security advisors at the White House on Monday to discuss the options for a U.S. response to Qaddafi's sustained attack on the rebels.

Obama and Libya: When push comes to shove

Hillary Clinton told CBS News in an exclusive interview on Tuesday that it was essential to have a United Nations mandate behind any military intervention by the West in Libya.

VIDEO: Clinton on U.S. strategy for Libya

"We believe it's important that this not be an American, or a NATO, or a European effort. It needs to be an international one," Clinton told "Early Show" co-anchor Erica Hill. "We don't want there to be any room for anyone, including Col. Qaddafi, to say that 'this isn't about my people, this is about outsiders.' Because that would be doing a grave disservice to the sacrifice of the people in Libya."

Clinton acknowledged there was "still a lot of opposition" to a resolution approving a no-fly zone within the UN Security Council, but said the U.S. and its allies in Europe -- primarily the U.K. and France which have both urged a no-fly zone -- were "working to come up with a good solid international package."

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