NATO bombs Gaddafi’s compound hours after he appears on TV
At least four airstrikes targeted the North Korean embassy and Gaddafi's compound.
This comes just hours after Gaddafi made a TV appearance for the first time since a NATO attack killed his youngest son and three grandchildren more than a week ago.
Government spokesperson Mussa Ibrahim told the press that the airstrikes hit a place where dozens of Libyans come every night to support Gaddafi. Some of them come with their families. He stressed that this compound does not contain any military facilities.
Since the beginning of the NATO campaign in Libya, this building had been attacked several times and now it stands in quite a grim condition, with parts of it blown away and deep craters left in two locations around it.
On Tuesday NATO spokesperson General Claudio Gabellini assured the press that “NATO is not targeting individuals; it is not in our mandate. Our mandate is to protect the civilian population from attacks or from the threat of attacks by the Gaddafi regime forces.”
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama reportedly invited rebel leaders for talks in Washington on Friday.
Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, says that when the UN Security Council voted to take action against Libya, it was done in the name of protecting civilians, but what is going on now is far from protection.
“Now, with the escalation of the air attacks, they are hitting, as it seems, more and more civilian targets, and this is a great concern,” she said. “I very much hope that the international community takes a strong stand against this, otherwise more civilians will be killed. We have heard from a UN agency today expressing concern to the Security Council that civilians are suffering as a result of the air strikes.”
“This again raises the question of international law,” she continued. “It is not legal to intervene in civil wars. I think inviting those leaders to Washington for talks shows that Obama is disregarding that aspect of international law.”
Paris-based author and journalist Barry Lando agrees that NATO is going beyond its mandate, but argued that the reasons for that are external, and that the alliance is doing its best.
“I think NATO is under tremendous pressure to perform, and I think they are doing their best,” he told RT. “I think they are stepping up, probably much beyond what they originally planned to do, and certainly much beyond what their countries that first ordered them to go in… thought they’d be doing.”
“I think that they may not have realized,” he added, “that, as had been warned during [the campaign in Iraq], relying on air power was not going to win the battle for them.”
Eric Margolis, a columnist, author and war correspondent, says he got the impression that Gaddafi had the strength of character to survive challenges back in the 1980s, when he interviewed the Libyan leader in person.
“It struck me back then that he is a man with a mission, he is one of the longest-serving Arab leaders, having been in power since 1969, with numerable attempts to kill him by different powers,” Margolis said. “For now, at least, he is going to continue fighting.”
Margolis also stated the US has been behind the assault on Libya all along. Moreover, according to Margolis, Washington thinks it can define whether the regime in Syria is illegitimate or not.
“Washington thinks it has the right and duty to decide this,” he said. “I have been picking up reports from Washington that the US is going to move strongly against Syria.”