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Libyan rebels ask: 'Do they want Gaddafi to win?'

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:57 PM
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Libyan rebels ask: 'Do they want Gaddafi to win?'
from the Independent UK:




Libyan rebels ask: 'Do they want Gaddafi to win?'
Widespread anger as mistaken Nato air strike on rebel tanks kills 13 fighters

By Kim Sengupta and Patrick Cockburn in Ajdabiya
Friday, 8 April 2011


The difficult relationship between Nato forces and the Libyan rebels came under further strain yesterday after Western aircraft killed 13 fighters and injured many more in a mistaken attack on rebel tanks.

The incident, the third in recent days in which Nato have hit the wrong side, caused widespread anger in Ajdabiya among rebels, many of whom also believe that the western air strikes should have begun sooner and gone further. And it led to further recriminations between the Benghazi rebel leadership and the coalition authorities.

The head of the rebel army, General Abdel Fattah Younes, described yesterday's air strike as "vicious", and claimed that Nato had been kept informed of the movements of the tank convoy. "We have asked Nato what happened. We have not yet received any answers," he said.

"What we would like is a rational and convincing account of what happened. We would also like to know why the attack was carried out on our soldiers while a Gaddafi force, which advanced towards Ajdabiya on three fronts, was not attacked in any way." .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/libyan-r...



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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:01 PM
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1. If NATO wanted that, this would have ended long ago.
NATO should stop bombing at all so the rebels will not be targeted any more. Then the rebels can focus on their war.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:06 PM
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2. They'll be rolled if that happens.
I'm still unsure how NATO is handling this. If NATO is bombing any and all threats to civilians then it is indeed a stalemate inducing effect (tanks rolling on cities, in the case of the rebels they were rolling on Brega). I know that Sarkozy was implying he wanted to take it further and side with the rebels, but he didn't have that control capacity he called for.

NATO apologizing to the rebels, if it's true, the details are murky, is an interesting turn of events imo.
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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. The UN resolution wording seemed to me to promote stalemate.
Maybe it WAS on purpose. The UN resolution takes no position on "regime change," but seems to oppose military offensive on civilian areas. If Brega is controlled by one side, it would seem to say the intervention under the resolution might be aimed at stopping whatever force making an offensive. Or, there may be no "hand and glove" relationship between NATO and the rebels. There are some loyalists and opposition civilians in Brega. How to protect them all? Same with Benghazi or Sirte. Should an offensive against Sirte be treated differently than one on Benghazi? All questions that haven't been publicly addressed by NATO or its member states.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. What makes me not think that they apologized...
...is the fact that when this happened last time there was no real apology, they said basically "you were a threat and we took the threat out of the equation." In this case they didn't even have a Q&A and have yet to address it as far as I understand (the apology is coming from the rebel side, which could be untrue, misconstrued, who knows).

They're either investigating to make sure they were responsible (takes time to figure out battle field awareness and such) and if they are they will have to say why. And the reason is they were moving on Brega. How the fuck is NATO to know which side is which? All they see is a group of people moving on a city.

In the past this worked out well for the rebels, because Gaddafi's forces were easily spotted, but since they changed tactics it's impossible to know.

The revolutionaries need to get communications lines in straight with NATO.
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