A defiant Moammar Gadhafi warned Western powers in a broadcast interview Wednesday that efforts to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya's airspace would be met with armed resistance.
"If they take such a decision it will be useful for Libya, because the Libyan people will see the truth, that what they want is to take control of Libya and to steal their oil," Gaddafi said an interview with Turkey's state-run TRT television.
"Then the Libyan people will take up arms against them," Gaddafi said.
The embattled leader added that, like Afghanistan and Pakistan, he was only fighting to keep Libya from falling into the hands of al-Qaeda and that West had no legitimate grounds to invade his country.
"If al-Qaeda seizes Libya, that will amount to a huge disaster," Gadhafi said. "If they (al-Qaeda fighters) take this place over, the whole region including Israel, will be dragged into chaos. Then, (al-Qaeda leader Osama) Bin Laden may seize all of North Africa that faces Europe."
Gadhafi's remarks came as government forces battled opposition fighters in the eastern part of the country.
In Tripoli, Gadhafi appears to have gained the upper hand in his efforts to keep the rebels taking control of the capital city.
Meanwhile, the West has been trying to craft a plan that would allow them to support pro-democracy forces without becoming entangled in the conflict.
The Obama administration said all options were on the table - including implementing a no-fly zone over Libya.
"The British and French governments are going to the United Nations with a draft resolution that would authorize international action," U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton told CBS News in an interview. "I think it's very important that there be a U.N. decision on whatever might be done."
"We don't want there to be any room for anyone, including Col. Gadhafi, to say that 'this isn't about my people, this is about outsiders,' she added, "because that would be doing a grave disservice to the sacrifice of the people in Libya."