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Monday, February 21, 2011

Gadhafi's son meant it - Libyan jets firing on civilians in Tripoli

When Muammar Gadhafi's son Seif al-Islam told Libyans on Sunday night that the regime would "fight until the last man, the last woman, the last bullet," he apparently wasn't exaggerating. Israel Radio reports that Libyan Air Force jets are firing on civilians in Tripoli.

By the way, the crews of those Libyan jets and helicopters (two each) that landed in Malta around 5:30 local time on Monday have asked for asylum. The pilots asked for asylum because they did not want to shoot at their own people anymore. There was a French passenger on one of the jets according to someone in Malta. There are seven people on the aircraft in all. Their escape was not planned and they did not have permission to land.

Here's more from Seif al-Islam Gadhafis speech.
Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, in the regime's first comments on the six days of demonstrations, warned the protesters that they risked igniting a civil war in which Libya's oil wealth "will be burned."


"We are not Tunisia and Egypt," he said. "Moammar Gadhafi, our leader, is leading the battle in Tripoli, and we are with him.

"The armed forces are with him. Tens of thousands are heading here to be with him. We will fight until the last man, the last woman, the last bullet," he said in a rambling and sometimes confused speech of nearly 40 minutes.

Although the elder Gadhafi did not appear, his son has often been put forward as the regime's face of reform.


In his speech, the younger Gadhafi conceded the army made some mistakes during the protests because the troops were not trained to deal with demonstrators, but he added that the number of dead had been exaggerated, giving a death toll of 84.

He offered to put forward reforms within days that he described as a "historic national initiative" and said the regime was willing to remove some restrictions and begin discussions for a constitution. He offered to change a number of laws, including those covering the media and the penal code.

Dressed in a dark business suit and tie, Seif al-Islam wagged his finger frequently as he delivered his warnings. He said that if protests continued, Libya would slide back to "colonial" rule. "You will get Americans and European fleets coming your way and they will occupy you.

He threatened to "eradicate the pockets of sedition" and said the army will play a main role in restoring order.

"There has to be a firm stand," he said. "This is not the Tunisian or Egyptian army."

Protesters had seized some military bases, tanks and other weapons, he said, blaming Islamists, the media, thugs, drunks and drug abusers, foreigners — including Egyptians and Tunisians.

He also admitted that the unrest had spread to Tripoli, with people firing in central Green Square before fleeing.
And the 'civilized' nations of the world? British Foreign Secretary William Hague called the younger Gadhafi and told him that he has to embark on dialogue and implement reforms. Good luck with that.

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At 8:54 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I'd hazard a guess many Libyans would welcome the return of the Italians. Foreign rule might be a salvation since it would be preferable to being oppressed by one's own people.


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