Posts Tagged ‘update on libya’

Fucking war mongrels! Why did the US UK UN not press to go to war in Bahrain, Yemen, or Egypt? Is it because they are “allies” and give up their oil easily? So it’s ok to murder your citizens in countries like, torture them and dictate them as along as they are friends of the UN? So the issue isn’t with dictatorship. The issue is oil. Venezuela lookout, you are next. Obama is coming to latin countries to organize and oust you. Obama is something we can believe in. We can believe he is a war lover like the others, we can believe the policies will stay the same, we can believe he cares about corporate interests! This makes me sick to my stomach.

International forces bombard targets in Libya

Coalition forces launch Libya assault, which Gaddafi calls “colonial, crusader” aggression

United States and European military forces have bombarded Libya with cruise missiles and airstrikes as part of a broad international effort to enforce a UN-mandated no-fly zone.

French planes fired the first shots on Saturday in the biggest international military intervention in the Arab world since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, destroying tanks and armoured vehicles in eastern Libya

Hours later, US and British warships and submarines launched more than 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles at more than 20 coastal targets to clear the way for air patrols to ground Libya’s air force.

An unnamed US national security official said the air defences in the oil-producing North African country have been “severely crippled” by the barrage of missile strikes.

“Gaddafi’s air defence systems have been severely disabled. It’s too soon to predict what he and his ground forces may do in response to today’s strikes,” the military source said on condition of anonymity.

Libyan state television later said civilian areas of Tripoli and fuel storage tanks that supplied Misurata had been hit.

In Tripoli residents said they had heard an explosion near eastern Tajoura district, while in Misurata they said strikes had targeted an airbase where Gaddafi’s forces were based.

Several thousands gathered at the Bab al-Aziziyah palace, Gaddafi’s compound in the capital that was bombed by US warplanes in 1986, to show their support.

Defiant Gaddafi

In response, Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, vowed to arm civilians to defend the country from what he called “colonial, crusader” aggression by western forces against him.

Rest of story:


Gaddafi tanks, jets strike deeper into rebel heartland


By Mohammed Abbas and Alexander Dziadosz Mohammed Abbas And Alexander Dziadosz 34 mins ago

RAS LANUF, Libya (Reuters) – Libyan tanks fired on rebel positions in the oil port of Ras Lanuf and warplanes hit another oil hub further east on Thursday as Muammar Gaddafi carried counter-attacks deeper into the insurgent heartland.

State television said in late afternoon that the army had driven rebels out of Ras Lanuf. The insurgents denied it, but said government forces were heavily bombarding it and thrusting well into the Mediterranean coastal town.

The rebels took an important step toward international legitimacy when France recognized their national council. But while NATO and the EU discussed what measures they might take, the U.S. director of national intelligence forecast that a well-equipped Gaddafi would prevail over the rebels in the end.

European Union foreign ministers could not agree at their Brussels meeting over whether the 27-member bloc as a whole should recognize the anti-Gaddafi movement, although they did decide to tighten punitive sanctions on Gaddafi’s government.

The EU ministers also urged Gaddafi to quit immediately.

At parallel talks, NATO foreign ministers discussed imposing a “no-fly” zone over Libya to stop the government using jets and helicopters against the outgunned rebels, who seized a string of cities east and west of Tripoli early in the three-week-old war to end Gaddafi’s 41 years of iron-fisted rule.

But NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said this could happen only with a demonstrable need, a clear legal basis and firm regional support, not all of which now apply.

EU diplomats explained that a legal basis would require evidence of war crimes by Gaddafi’s forces against civilians, of which there are unconfirmed reports but no documented evidence.

Rasmussen also saw the risk of Libya becoming a divided, failed state that could become a haven for terrorists. “We strongly urge the government of Libya to stop violence and allow a peaceful transition to democracy,” he said.

Despite rebel appeals to take the skies away from Gaddafi’s forces, no quick action had been expected as NATO leaders want broader U.N. endorsement for political cover. Russia and China oppose such intervention and would have a veto in any U.N. vote.

Establishing a no fly zone would be an act of war as it would require knocking out Libya’s air defense system. It is the second largest in the Middle East, with 31 major surface-to-air missile sites, the U.S. intelligence chief said on Thursday.

While oil prices have been kept high by the bombardments in the east of the Arab North African state, there was no clear sign of deliberate intent by Gaddafi to ruin oil infrastructure.


More than 500 km (300 miles) east of his main bastion in the capital Tripoli, Gaddafi’s warplanes and gunboats off-shore bombarded rebels in Ras Lanuf. Projectiles crashed near a Libyan Emirates Oil Refinery Company building.

At least two tanks were seen bearing down on ragged rebel lines outside Ras Lanuf and opening fire.

Rebel fighters said Ras Lanuf’s residential district, including the vicinity of its hospital, came under bombardment and one said government forces were advancing into the area, backed by rocket fire from sea, air and ground.

Insurgents also reported an air strike on Brega, another oil port 90 km (50 miles) east of Ras Lanuf, indicating that Gaddafi loyalists had not only halted a westwards insurgent push in its tracks but were making inroads into their eastern hinterland.

Insurgents fired anti-aircraft guns toward warplanes and rockets out to sea toward navy ships, without visible effect.


Gaddafi is “hunkering down,” showing no inclination to cede power, and “we believe Gaddafi is in this for the long haul,” U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a U.S. Senate hearing.

Clapper said he expected Gaddafi’s forces, with better equipment and logistics, would prevail over the long term.

Libyan state television said rebels were ousted on Thursday from the port and airport of Es Sider, a further oil terminus about 40 km (25 miles) up the coast west of Ras Lanuf.

OPEC member Libya was turning away tankers from ports as storage depots dried up because of supply disruptions caused by the fighting. Libya’s oil trade has virtually been paralyzed as banks refuse to clear payments in dollars due to U.S. sanctions, cutting off major importers such as Italy and France.

The intensified fighting near oil installations kept crude prices hovering near recent 2.5-year highs, with Brent crude trading at $114.55 a barrel.


The rebels, hitherto bursting with confidence that they would soon charge hundreds of km (miles) up the coast, overwhelming any resistance, to capture Gaddafi’s main bastion Tripoli, now conceded they were struggling to hold ground against the government’s vastly superior firepower.

“(Gaddafi) might take it. With planes, tanks, mortars and rockets, he might take it,” said rebel fighter Basim Khaled.

“A no-fly zone would be great,” said rebel fighter Salem al-Burqy, echoing the view of many beleaguered cohorts.

Gaddafi’s counter-offensive has stymied a rebel advance from their eastern power base of Benghazi. They were forced to withdraw from the front-line town of Bin Jawad, just west of Ras Lanuf, after coming under heavy shelling earlier this week.

In the west, Gaddafi’s army laid siege to try to starve out insurgents clinging to parts of the shattered city of Zawiyah, strategically significant because it is close to his powerbase in the capital Tripoli, after fierce see-saw battles this week.

One fighter said rebels had retaken the heart of Zawiyah, the closest city — 50 km (30 miles) west — to Tripoli, from the army overnight. Zawiyah’s center appeared to change hands twice during the day in a fierce battle.

A doctor in a Tripoli hospital said up to 50 wounded government soldiers had been brought in from Zawiyah.

Mohamed, a Libyan in exile abroad who got through to a relative on the outskirts of Zawiyah on Thursday morning, said it was simply not clear who was winning the battle for the city but the army had it under siege to break the rebels’ will.

“Yesterday (rebel sympathizers) tried to bring food and medicine from Subratha but failed. Government troops surround Zawiyah from everywhere. It is unclear who controls the center. It changes all the time. It’s street to street fighting.”

Authorities have kept journalists away from Zawiyah.


France became the first significant country on Thursday to recognize the rebel Libyan National Council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people. An aide to President Nicolas Sarkozy said an ambassador would go to Benghazi and a Libyan envoy would be received in Paris.

Britain’s Foreign Office suggested it could make the same opening as France, saying Libyan National Council members were “valid interlocutors” and Gaddafi should step down now.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she would meet Libyan opposition figures in the United States and during a trip to Egypt and Tunisia, Libya’s neighbors, next week.

In Geneva, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Libya had descended into civil war with increasing numbers of wounded civilians arriving in hospitals in the east.

ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger called on Libyan authorities to grant the humanitarian agency access to western areas including the capital Tripoli and reminded both sides that civilians and medical facilities must not be targeted.

(Additional reporting by Tom Pfeiffer in Benghazi, Luke Baker, David Brunnstrom, Missy Ryan and Lucien Toyer in Brussels, Paul Eckert and Tabassum Zakaria in Washington, Stefano Ambrogi and Olesya Dmitracova in London, John Irish in Paris, Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; writing by Mark Heinrich; editing by Giles Elgood

According to Gaddafi will be stepping down from dictatorship of libya. He plans to exit the country and hand over power. But he has demands on this. Let’s see if his negotiators are able to work it out. My bet is he will get over his fear of flying of the ocean vs. his fear of losing his ass and head to Venezuela.

Gaddafi sends negotiators to Benghazi

By Jamaal Al-Qasass

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Informed Libyan sources in the city of Benghazi, where the headquarters of the Interim National Council are located, which has recently put forth its candidates to administer the country in the coming period, have revealed that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi yesterday sent a negotiator on his behalf to visit the Council. [Via the negotiator], the Libyan leader declared his readiness to abandon power and leave Libya, in return for ensuring the safety of himself and his family.

The sources explained that Gaddafi’s terms were as follows: The General People’s Congress [Gaddafi’s parliament] would convene to declare that Gaddafi had stepped down, and handed power over to the National Council. In return, Gaddafi sought assurances for his safety, that of his family, and his wealth.

In a telephone interview with Asharq al-Awsat, the sources revealed that Gaddafi demanded assistance in leaving the country, which he intends to do, and requested guarantees that he would not be pursued, either internally or abroad, or brought to face international courts.

Sources did not disclose the content of the Council’s response, saying only that: “there has yet to be an official response to Gaddafi’s demands, whether negative or positive”. However, the sources said that the general popular trend at present is to reject all negotiation and dialogue with Gaddafi, under any circumstances.

The sources also revealed that Colonel Gaddafi had yesterday distributed a quantity of weapons and ammunition amongst the “Abna al-Rafaq”, a group of young loyalists in Tripoli who are affiliated with leaders of the Revolutionary Committees, in a move which the sources termed part of the “Gaddafi Maneuvers”. By doing so, Gaddafi is seeking to deliberately confuse matters, and spread chaos, in order to blur the picture of what is happening in Libya in front of the foreign media and observers.

The sources said that these youths are taking to the streets of Tripoli and firing bullets in order to spread terror and confusion amongst the citizens, and amidst the ranks of journalists and foreign correspondents, who were initially invited to the Libyan capital by the Gaddafi regime

Looks like Gadhafi is now pulling out some big guns. This is no longer an uprising and protest, this is a civil war.

Gadhafi forces barrage rebels in east and west



TRIPOLI, Libya – After dramatic successes over the past weeks, Libya’s rebel movement appears to have hit a wall of overwhelming power from loyalists of Moammar Gadhafi. Pro-regime forces halted their drive on Tripoli with a heavy barrage of rockets in the east and threatened Tuesday to recapture the closest rebel-held city to the capital in the west.

If Zawiya, on Tripoli’s doorstep, is ultimately retaken, the contours of a stalemate would emerge — with Libya divided between a largely loyalist west and a rebel east as the world wrestles with the thorny question of how deeply to intervene.

President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron agreed to plan for the “full spectrum of possible responses” on Libya, including imposing a no-fly zone to prevent Gadhafi’s warplanes from striking rebels. According to a White House statement, the two leaders spoke Tuesday and agreed that the objective must be an end to violence and the departure of Gadhafi “as quickly as possible.”

A spokesman for the opposition’s newly created Interim Governing Council in Benghazi, meanwhile, said a man who claimed to represent Gadhafi made contact with the council to discuss terms for the leader of four decades to step down. Mustafa Gheriani told The Associated Press the council could not be certain whether the man was acting on his own initiative or did in fact represent Gadhafi.

“But our position is clear: No negotiations with the Gadhafi regime,” said Gheriani, who declined to say when contact was made or reveal the identity of the purported envoy.

Libyan state television denied that Gadhafi had sent an envoy to talk to the rebels.

In London, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that neither Gadhafi nor rebel forces appeared currently able to establish supremacy. “At the moment … it seems that either side lacks the immediate power to overthrow the other,” he said.

Later Tuesday, Gadhafi made a surprise appearance at a hotel hosting foreign correspondents in Tripoli, arriving just before midnight. He raised his fist in the air as he walked from his car to the hotel, then he went into a room separated by curtains for exclusive interviews with a Turkish and a French television station.

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