Excerpts from the action as it happened from DT and Al J. (Catch up with the BBC here)
There Was Nothing Friendly About the GCC Invasion Why Zogby is Wrong About Bahrain
The Many Qaddafis The man’s changing influence on affairs of Libya and elsewhere.
DT Late Tuesday
18.10 Two boats with 600 migrants have arrived at Lampedua island. Silvio Berlusconi has promised to evacuate.
19.59 The Telegraph’s Middle East correspondent Richard Spencer reports on how a major town in Yemen has fallen to al-Qaeda-backed rebel forces:
20.06 Top Libya rebel commander says NATO leaving people of Misurata to die. (Article)
21.19 Full details of this evening’s rebel press conference: Libyan rebels fighting Muammar Gaddafi’s forces on Tuesday criticised Nato as too slow to act and said they would ask the U.N. Security Council to suspend its mission unless it “did its job properly”.
[Tail wagging the dog?]
21.33 Read our full report on Nato asking the RAF to contribute more warplanes to step up ground strikes against Col Muammar Gaddafi’s forces after the alliance yesterday said a third of the Libyan leader’s forces had so far been destroyed. (Article)
07:32 From the Telegraph’s front page today: Nato will ask the RAF to contribute more warplanes to step up ground strikes against Col Muammar Gaddafi’s forces. (Article)
08:09 MI5 believed the former Libyan foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, was “involved in killing dissidents in Britain”, according to security service files, Duncan Gardham, the Telegraph’s Security Correspondent, writes. (Article)
09:05 Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, has weighed in over Misrata:
“Misrata is in a situation which cannot continue and I am going to discuss it in a few hours time with the Secretary General of NATO.”
Abdelfatah Yunis, the rebel commander, says:
“NATO waits one more week, there will be nothing left in Misrata.”
[If the insurgents return...]
09:08 Jordan has sent fighter aircraft to a European air base to support the no-fly zone over Libya and protect humanitarian flights from the Arab kingdom, its foreign minister, Nasser Judeh, told the Jordan Times newspaper.
10:10 Libyan rebels will now be able to supply the besieged city of Misurata by sea, according to the French defence minister, Gerard Longuet, who said:
“We are going to ensure that aid comes from Benghazi and that at no moment Gaddafi’s military forces will be able to stop this.”
[Would they anyway? Who is vetting the cargo for weapons? Will Libyan army forces receive humanitarian aid bombs to just in case they try to prevent it? I smell a tactic.]
10:38 Gaddafi’s men using human shields, according to NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero.
[Insurgents being suicidal don't fire from private residences and mosques ... There is nothing clean about an armed uprising nor the measures to counter it. The insurgents are no better than the gov't according to the reports on ethnic cleansing.]
11:44 Battles have reportedly been raging for hours today on the Mediterranean coast road as both sides try to break the stalemate. Mohamed el-Masrafy, a member of a rebel special forces unit, said clashes began at 4am (GMT) after Gaddafi’s forces were resupplied with ammunition and moved eastwards out of the oil port of Brega.
12:03 Denmark has appointed a special envoy to the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi, the Danish foreign ministry has said. The country does not have an ambassador in Tripoli.
12:21 NATO has dismissed rebel criticism of the pace of its military campaign in Libya, saying the number of its airstrikes is increasing every day.
12:28 More than 200 Iranian parliamentarians have condemned the “frightening crimes” of Saudi troops in Bahrain and demanded their departure, state television website reported.
12:30 As fuel supplies continue to paralyse parts of Libya, a source told AFP that Gaddafi has been able to import 19,000 tonnes of petrol from a foreign tanker that had been anchored in Tunisian waters. In the rebel-held east of the country, oil exports were set to resume for the first time since mid-March after the arrival of a tanker capable of holding 100 million dollars’ worth of crude.
Al J GMT+2 Late Tuesday
6:04pm The United Nations has doubled its aid appeal for Libya to $310 million, Elisabeth Byrs, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says.
[Both sides have plenty of money, is the aid for Libya or for the migrant refugees and illegals or just an excuse to get funding?]
6:30pm More on NATO operations near Misurata: coalition aircraft launched 14 strikes on Monday, including “a number” targetting air defence systems, tanks and armoured vehicles in the area around the besieged Western town, the alliance says.
The alliance also hit a rocket launcher near Brega on Monday, and ammunition storage facilities in other parts of the country.
[Didn't the insurgents flee at least 18km towards Ajdabiya? How is it besieged?]
7:50pm Algeria is concerned by a noticeable increase in al-Qaeda presence in Libya, Abdelkader Messahel, the country’s deputy foreign minister, said today.
7:56pm Two boats carrying 600 migrants, including Eritreans and Somalians feeling Libya, arrived at Lampedusa island today.
[Fleeing the insurgents by all accounts.]
7:57pm Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, says he wants to question Moussa Koussa, the former Libyan foreign minister who has resigned and fled to London.
Moreno-Ocampo said that Koussa could have crucial information about the inner workings of Muammar Gaddafi’s government.
7:58pm Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, has paid tribute to the countries bordering Libya for taking in hundreds of thousands of refugees during the current crisis in the country. He has also paid tribute to Italy and Malta for sheltering thousands of economic migrants and refugees from North Africa – even though Rome says that it wants to send many Tunisians seeking a better life in Europe back home.
8:17pm Geoff Morell, the Pentagon’ spokesman, says that no decision has yet been made on whether or not the US will be helping to arm rebels. At the moment the topic of “non-lethal” aid is being discussed, he says.
[The US has little regard for the UN. Expect more funding cuts if the UN does not support the US more directly.]
8:19pm Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi have razed a mosque in Az Zawiyah that had been used by rebels as a base, as well as a graveyard in a central square where opposition fighters are buried in that city.
Gaddafi’s forces are now in firm control of the city, which for weeks had fought back against siege by government troops.
[Army or citizenry? We need a report.]
8:54pm Responding to a question on whether there are divisions on the front line in the rebel army, Younis says:
“I don’t know why the journalists these days are picking up on these rumours. These rumours, whether right or wrong, do not influence the position of the armed forces. There is no disagreement, no problems, between the rebel forces.
“The front line is OK, and there is opportunity for every citizen to join us at the front line.”
[There are several reports on the insurgents leader's speech. He talks about the army invading forgetting that insurgents invaded the oil towns. Then he talks about the slow response of the air force in bombing targets insurgents have designated.]
9:10pm “The situation in the southern areas, as we said the forces that we command the regular armies are on the front line. The oil fields have some patrols and some of our rebel youths that have joined the rebellion. They have tried to shell the Sidr oil field, and there are some damages, but are working on reparing them. All of this is to deny the eastern area access to its oil. Because now the National Council has the legitimacy to sell the oil. And we have started these contacts with Qatar. And the Gaddafi regime does not want the people to enjoy their rights.
“Yesterday we intercepted a brief from their forces saying that they have destroyed the field. These Gaddafi forces have been lying so that they would not be executed by the regime. We also informed NATO about these groups that are trying to sabotage the fields. We told NATO about them, NATO says we cannot shell them when they are in the oil field.
“But these people are on tarmac, and it would not influence the oil fields, but unfortunately they were not bombed.
“The security of the oil fields have intercepted these groups and defended the oil fields. ”
9:33pm General Carter Ham, the chief of the United States’ Africa Command, has been testifying before American lawmakers in Washington DC.
He has reiterated that NATO is now in full command of the mission, and the US is acting only in a supporting role.
Regarding al-Qaeda, he says that it remains the “number one security threat” to the US, particularly in eastern Africa.
[Some bloggers have retitled the group Cialquaeda.]
10:36pm Reuters reports, citing a rebel spokesman, that shelling in Misurata stopped at about 5:00pm local time, after beginning at 10:00am.
10:46pm AFP reports that Abdelati al-Obeidi has been formally appointed as Libya’s foreign minister, replacing Moussa Koussa, who fled the country to the United Kingdom.
11:11pm The Associated Press reports that rebels in towns southwest of Tripoli have banded together to fight pro-Gaddafi forces, pushing them out of the mountain town of Yefren.
Shaban Abusitta, a rebel leader from the town of Nalut, said youths from Nalut and Az Zintan infiltrated Yefren and helped their allies there to fight against government forces, who had surrounded the town. The rebels, armed with Kalashnikov rifles, attacked the armed forces’ lines and pushed them away from the town.
Abusitta said at least 25 families from Yefren were now taking shelter in Nalut, and that many others were escaping towards the Tunisian border.
0:00pm With oil tankers now docking at the eastern oil ports of Tobruk and Marsa el Hariga, and the rebels desperate for an inflow of funds, as much to prove their viability as a government as to fund their opposition, Laurence Lee reports on the state of play on Libya’s oil.
Al J Wednesday
12:52am Two people were killed and 26 injured in shelling by Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in the besieged city of Misurata on Tuesday, a rebel told the Reuters news agency.
1:47am Libyan opposition leaders continue to say that Gaddafi must leave before talks can take place. And that is a key dilemma in the country overcoming it’s current crisis.
[So prolonging the misery.]
4:26am Libyan anti-government soldiers are reportedly being tortured and executed in an underground prison in Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, according to one prisoner who since escaped.
Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton reports that there are more and more stories emerging across the country of abuse and suffering at the hands of the Gadaffi forces.
6:01am [The Lockerbie card is played in the propaganda war despite Gaddafi being forgiven (while claiming no part) and compensation paid.]
6:17am Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee, reporting from Benghazi, says the criticism of NATO from opposition forces reflects the fact they continue to struggle in their battles against pro-Gaddafi forces, and that the conflict may be prolonged.
[Recognition that the insurgents can't win without an air force and or heavy armour.]
10:37am AFP – NATO, accused by Libyan rebels of failing to protect civilians in the besieged city of Misurata, vows to do everything to protect the population.
If the puppeteers are throwing Obama to the wolves, Obama will take little part in their campaigns and laugh at them from the sidelines.
The Libyan army has been let off the leash. It seems Brega, Ajdabiya, Tobruk and the inland oil fields are the main bargaining pieces now Misurata has been returned to Libyan gov’t control. I can’t see the coalition recovering it. Brega looks to have been secured and Ajdabiya may go by the weekend. Tobruk is likely to be the next domino after Ajdabiya. If the fields go that will mean all the coalition has to offer is Benghazi, a bank and more bombs. Short of invading the UN puppets, the US and NATO puppets are powerless.
I wonder just how strong the insurgent force would be without islamic extremist assistance? That the extremists are a force to be reckoned with is shown by the ongoing presence of christian invasion forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and now AQ is starting a takeover in Yemen. It seems that the Libyan conflict has expanded their capability by putting more weapons in their hands. Mali appears to be a distribution centre. It is unlikely to be attacked as many part of the extremist organisations appear to be under secret services’ control and direction.
I believe a division should happen, the border to be along old tribal divisions. That would give the western Libyans the biggest slice. The state bank should be mutually shared under public ownership and controlled by representatives according to population in each tribal zone. Oil revenue proportionate to population rather than which side the oil is on going to each government. The border should not be more than a definition of liability to the laws and taxes of each gov’t and should not be visible. The army should remain as one unit overseen by reps of both sides. The banksters should be kicked out and refused the possibility of controlling the gov’ts as they do everywhere else. The coalition should go back to minding its own business of which its parts are making such a mess.
The banksters’ UN should be defunded. The banksters’ NATO should be disbanded. The banksters’ ECs (both of them) should be dismissed as they are both as harmful to humanity as the UN and NATO.
Now the masses are becoming aware of how they are being played, the various gov’ts should be put on trial alongside the secret services. Perhaps then the truth about Libya, IraQ, Afghanistan, ME disturbances, 9/11, Lockerbie and other atrocities will emerge.
Despite Gaddafi and the Libyan gov’t’s abuse of the people Libya was the healthiest and probably the richest African country. It will be interesting to see if a democratically elected gov’t can do better. Massive projects like pyramids and making a dry nation wet are not undertaken by wimps such as Cameron and Bush. Gaddafi will be remembered for exploiting the immense aquifer that is enabling Libya to slowly become self dependent with regards to food as the deserts are greened long after Cameron (that has only aided the rape of the UK and can’t even get the leaky UK water infrastructure fixed) is forgotten. If both Libyas decide to sell to the highest bidder (China) they should be allowed.
Cameron’s excuse for joining the civil war was to protect civilians. How many deaths in total have occurred compared to how many would have died had the coalition not partied? How much stronger are extremist groups because of the intervention?
One consolation. The coalition is making such a cock up with their rag tag army on the ground, China has felt no need to intervene.