WASHINGTON (AP) — Declaring the end of a tyrant’s reign, President Barack Obama on Thursday cast the demise of Moammar Gadhafi as a momentous opportunity for Libya and its long-suffering people, telling them: “You have won your revolution.”
“One of the world’s longest-serving dictators is no more,” Obama said.
He claimed no vindication for his approach to U.S. intervention but hailed the success of the NATO effort that was intended to protect civilians and helped force Gadhafi from power.
“The dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted,” Obama said from the White House Rose Garden. “And with this enormous promise, the Libyan people now have a great responsibility.”
The president said it was the Libyan government that confirmed the death, and he embraced the news, saying: “Today, we can definitively say that the Gadhafi regime has come to end.”
He urged a smooth transition to what he hoped would be fair, free elections.
Gadhafi was killed Thursday when revolutionary forces overwhelmed his hometown, Sirte.