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Libyan Rebels Warn: Gaddafi’s Army Will Kill Half A Million

Libyan Rebels Warn: Gaddafi’s Army Will Kill Half A Million

Forces fighting against Colonel Gaddafi are warning that if he is allowed to continue, he could be responsible for the deaths of half a million people.

Revolutionary Administration Appeals For Foreign Military Aid

As Muammar Gaddafi’s army won control of a strategic rebel-held Libyan town and laid siege to another, the revolutionary administration in Benghazi again appealed for foreign military help to prevent what it said would be the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people if the insurgents were to lose.

The rebels have retreated from the oil town of Ras Lanuf, captured a week ago,  after two days of intense fighting and they believe that the nearby town of Brega is now threatened.

From The Guardian:

The revolutionary army, in large part made up of inexperienced young volunteers, has been forced back by a sustained artillery, tank and air bombardment about 20 miles along the road to the rebel capital of Benghazi.
The head of Libya’s revolutionary council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, claimed that if Gaddafi’s forces were to reach the country’s second-largest city it would result in “the death of half a million” people.

The Arab League, meeting in Cairo, called on the UN security council to impose a no fly-zone on Libya as Gaddafi’s forces also began to move against Misrata, a city of 300,000 people about 125 miles from Tripoli. Misrata is the only town in the west of the country still under the control of the insurgents after their defeat in a vicious battle for Zawiya. The rebels said that Misrata was now surrounded by Gaddafi’s forces, which included tanks.

“We are bracing for a massacre,” Mohamad Ahmed, a rebel fighter in the city, said. “We know it will happen and Misrata will be like Zawiya, but we believe in God. We do not have the capabilities to fight Gaddafi and his forces. They have tanks and heavy weapons and we have our belief and trust in God. The fighters here and the people of Misrata hold the inxternational community responsible for the fall of Zawiya and for all the deaths that happened. Gaddafi is responsible, but they are partners in crime.”

Arab League Backs No-Fly Zone

The Arab League has backed the idea of a no-fly zone over Libya, as rebels continue to be pushed back by Colonel Gaddafi’s forces.

A special meeting in Cairo voted to ask the UN Security Council to impose the policy until the current crisis ended. The Arab League vote for a no-fly zone was opposed only by Syria and Algeria, reports from the Cairo meeting said. The UK and France have pushed for the idea, but have failed so far to win firm backing from the EU or Nato.

But Will Nato Approve No-Fly Zone?

Nato has previously cited regional support for the idea as a key condition before it could possibly go ahead.

From the BBC:

The US Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, had earlier been quoted by French news agency AFP as saying it was still not clear whether it was the right policy.

“We can do it – the question is whether it’s a wise thing to do and that’s the discussion that’s going on at a political level,” Mr Gates reportedly told reporters on a US military plane after a visit to Bahrain.

Russia, which wields a veto on the UN Security Council, has expressed serious reservations on the issue.

On Friday, EU leaders in Brussels also stopped short of supporting the British and French initiative, saying instead that they would “examine all necessary options” to protect civilians.

The policy would be aimed at preventing Col Gaddafi’s forces using warplanes to attack rebel positions, although no clear position has emerged on exactly how this would be achieved

The Arab League’s vote in support of a no-fly zone undoubtedly brings military intervention closer to reality. It fulfills one of the conditions necessary for Nato involvement, regional support, but it is far from decisive.

Ultimately that decision will be taken in the UN Security Council, where uncertainty still reigns, not least because the Obama administration has yet to make up its mind. And only America can make a no-fly zone happen.

What Does A No-Fly Zone Mean?

Any no-fly zone (NFZ) would rely on America’s overwhelming air power. Doing a no-fly zone without air strikes is not a realistic option, as is made clear by a detailed discussion among veterans of past NFZs on Wired’s Danger Room.

According to one former USAF general: An open-ended mission would require about 50 fighters — F-15s and -16s, plus British Tornadoes and French Mirages — with eight planes in the air at all times during the CAPs [Combat Air Patrols]. He also advises keeping at least 10 and up to 20 KC-135 airborne tankers in the skies to allow for refueling — meaning those tankers won’t be helping planes over Afghanistan refuel.

A Wise Decision For The Obama Administration?

No wonder the US defence secretary, Bob Gates, has emerged as a formidable sceptic on NFZ’s. As first reported in The Guardian, Gates told reporters over the weekend: “We can do it – the question is whether it’s a wise thing to do and that’s the discussion that’s going on at a political level.”

By which he presumably means that the Obama White House will be castigated by some of the strongest supporters of the no-fly idea as soon as the first report emerges of civilian casualties caused by US or allied air strikes.

This seems like a no-win situation for Obama, but meanwhile Gaddafi’s forces, with their superior fighting power, continue to wreak havoc in Libya. As I wrote here earlier this week, Gaddafi has stolen enough money from his people to keep on fighting against them for a long time.

Previous Care2 Coverage

BBC Staffers Tortured, Subjected to ‘Mock Execution” by Pro-Gaddafi Security Forces

Gadaffi’s Forces Attack Rebels in Zawiya: Iranian Weapons En Route To Taliban Seized (VIDEO)

The Women of Egypt: A Strong, Defiant Force

Rebels and Pro-Gaddafi Forces Battle in Libya; Obama Faces a Political Dilemma

Drawing Observations From the Frenzy in the Middle East/North Africa

 

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141 comments

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10:44AM PDT on May 13, 2011

WOW, what a crock. Looks like we are in 3 wars now. Why are we involved in Libya??? What about Syria then. There have been more documented deaths in Syria then Libya. What is our foreign policy?? According to the administrations reasoning for invading Libya we should also be invading Syria however, we are not. I think we should just butt out and let each of their own citizens decide what they want to do. Why are we medaling within other country's internal issues??? This is the reason people dislike the US.

1:44AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

Lets hope it will be quick

11:21PM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

Why, isn't that jus' the CUTEST lil' 'Wild-West' poster of ol' Daffy being shown for general consumption on Yahoo!

Look, OTHER reports indicate that posters of ol' Daffy have had Israeli ‘stars-of-David’ scrawled upon them!

I'll emphasize: THE MASSES/PEOPLE ARE STRIVING FOR SHARI'A-ONLY/ISLAMIST RULE!

They DON"T want mono-cameral or bi-cameral, parliamentary gov't (that's us here in 'The World'), PERIOD!

They ONLY seek RULE (not 'governance' - TOO 'Western') via a revival of the CALIPHATE (system ‘ruled’ by ONE strong-man), similar to the final, Turkish one that KEMAL (& his GNA) dissolved in 1924 in their semi-successful attempt to 'modernize' Turkey & the 'Ummah' (the planet's Muslim population)!

"These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that's it." - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers..." - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

3:20PM PDT on Mar 19, 2011

It is about time that something gets done...better late than nothing but will this be enought???
God help them!

2:03AM PDT on Mar 19, 2011

Now I am reading (courtesy of Google News (Australia) ...

Shelling, air strikes on Libyan rebels in Benghazi
(AFP - ‎1 hour ago‎)
and
Libyan rebels shoot down warplane
(The Press Association - ‎26 minutes ago‎)
and
Analysts warn air strikes on ground forces will be dangerous
Boston Globe - Slobodan Lekic - ‎1 hour ago‎

Maybe it's all just too hard.

No mention of No fly zones or cease fires there!
I reckon if you were thinking of challenging your government, even if you are perhaps 95% of the population, you can count on a similar degree of help from the UN et al should you be about to be bombed into oblivion.

Green light for murderous governments world wide. Now, if they can just get rid of Wikileaks, the future will be looking good.
Despots and genocidal rulers must be breathing easier.
But then, it was always thus.
Cynicism returned to normal levels ... whew!!

12:56AM PDT on Mar 19, 2011

A WORLD POWER HIGHER THAN THE UNITED NATIONS & WORLD COURT MUST BE ESTABLISHED!!!!
NO..... Malignant Naccissists should "not" have the right to rule a country ... a Supra-National Court...empowered to be higher than our existing World Court for the prosecution of International War Criminals in Der Hague, Netherlands, now must be created to "hold accountable" the "defunct, malignant and incapable" rulers of EVERY COUNTRY ON OUR PLANET... this would be a "SUPRA-NATIONAL" organization that would hold national leaders accountable . for not leading their nation reflecting the "will-of-the-people" ... "For the People, By the People and OF THE PEOPLE" MUST be the global standard. A SUPRA-NATIONAL Power needs to be higher than the United Nations and higher than the World Court ... the time has come for a Supra-National Court to hold accountable leaders of every nation on our planet! Really!

4:22PM PDT on Mar 17, 2011

I have just heard that the UN voted 10 - 0 (with some abstentions ,notably including China and Russia, who did not exercise their veto) in favour of a No-fly zone in Libya, and possibly air-strikes on Gaddafi's military. (No boots on ground)
Such action would hopefully cripple Gaddafi and lead to mass desertion of his forces, thus tipping the balance.
If western activities are confined to the above, any objections from the usual suspects could be ignored.
My cynicism is ( temporarily ) suspended.
I hope they leave enough of Gaddafi and his obnoxious sons to drag them to the Hague.

7:52AM PDT on Mar 17, 2011

noted thanks

2:04AM PDT on Mar 17, 2011

I think the western world (USA & EU) are interfering in too many places. A WAR is terrible, worst if it's a civil one, but is a WAR, not a picnic outling, and peolple should think twice before uprising. Was it genuine?, was it inducted?, Dit they thought: "we lit the fuss and then the world will help us to get rid of Gaddafi?" Who is behind the uprising?.
Unfortunatly, in Spain we had a civil war and, no matter who wons ALL suffer. Maybe will be better to pact and end then to get involved.

6:02PM PDT on Mar 16, 2011

Si l'ONU,l'UE,l'OTAN et tout les chefs d'états concerné
voulait tout faire pour stopper Gaddafi de massacrer son propre
peuple,malgrés qu'ils demandent de l'aide,ils l'aurait déja fait ,
malheureusement tout ces ippocrites leurs seul désir est de
laisser ce monstre finir ce qu'il avait l'intention de faire raser toute l'opposition qui lutte pour la démocratie et les libertés.

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