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Gaddafi Son Killed by UN Air Strikes

published  First Published: 01/05/2011
Article written by: Nigel Brookson


Reports out of Libya claim Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son Saif al-Arab and three grandchildren have been killed in a NATO air strike on a Gaddafi residence.

NATO officials said they couldn't say the Gaddafi regime was lying, simply that they couldn't confirm the claims, and have no evidence that the air strike killed them, or that there were any civilian casualties.

What the Libyan government called a residence - where Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Arab, and three grandchildren lived, was in fact a command and control centre with a bunker underneath, NATO and US officials said.

The same NATO officials also rejected claims the attack targeted Gaddafi, and was an assassination attempt. Gaddafi and his wife were at the Tripoli home of their other son, when the air strike took place.

"We do not target individuals and have no real way of knowing who is inside."

In Benghazi, the local residents say that Gaddafi has said family members have died at the hands of the US before.

News of the air strike have the international community debating whether NATO's attack was within the legal guidelines of the United Nations resolution authorising the use of force to protect Libyan civilians.

NATO has declined to say which country's planes were used in the attack, yet in the past they have, so there is speculation that it was a US attack.

World nations have been divided recently as to whether Gaddafi himself is a legitimate military target under the UN Security Council resolution that authorised the air campaign to protect civilians.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a press conference last week that NATO was "not targeting Gaddafi specifically" but that his command-and-control facilities; including a facility inside his Tripoli compound that was hit with air strikes last Monday were legitimate targets.

Russia abstained from the UN vote to authorise the NATO mission and has been one of its loudest critics with the Russian Foreign Ministry saying Saturday's attack...

"arouses serious doubts about coalition members' statement that the strikes in Libya do not have the goal of physically annihilating (Gaddafi) and members of his family."

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim was the first to announce that Saif al-Arab was killed in Saturday's air strike, but in a sign of how little was known about Saif al-Arab, Ibrahim initially misidentified him as Gaddafi's youngest son, who is "well known" to his colleagues in one of the German universities. Ibrahim had to correct himself the next day, confirming for reporters that Saif al-Arab was Gaddafi's second-youngest son.

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi have shown no sign of slowing down, even after Gaddafi himself asked for a cease fire to the UN actions, and entered the town of Jalo, killing 10 people. Apparently they are seeking supplies and shelter in these facilities, knowing NATO will not strike them.

"Gaddafi has troops traveling around the desert to spread fear, death and destruction but he doesn't have the numbers to hold the gains," said Jalal al-Gallal, a TNC media official.




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Tags: Gaddafi, UN, Air Strikes, Libya, Saif al Arab, Gaddafis Son, Gaddafis Son Killed



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