Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

Qadafi may have fled to Venezuela (unconfirmed but credible British sources)


Recommended Posts

Some interesting news about the opposition taking the initiative in a couple of cases:


3:46am Anti-government protesters in Benghazi, frustrated with state television reporting that everything is calm in the country, save for pockets of unrest fuelled by shadowy al-Qaeda operatives passing out hallucinogenic drugs, have started their own radio station.

Our correspondent Hoda Abdel-Hamid visited their 'studio', and filed this report.


4:14am More from the Voices of Feb17 website, where an audio message said to be from an anti-government protester in the town of Az Zintan, 170km southwest of Tripoli.

The message says that young people in that town have taken the fight to pro-Gaddafi forces, launching a series of "preventative attacks" on army barracks, checkpoints and other installations to gather weapons and equipment.

It says that pro-Gaddafi forces have attacked the city three times so far, and each time they have been repelled. It is particularly dangerous after sunset, the protester says.

He also said that about 60 "mercenaries" in all have been captured by protesters. On the supply front, the city has received two car-loads of medical supplies from allies in Tripoli, and while there are some shortages of food, in general the situation is not dire.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gaddafi is spending a lot of time bsing to an uncomfortable audience sitting in some room right now.

He keeps saying that everything is done by terrorists and there are no protesters.

More ranting about Al Queda.

And more talking about hallucination pills.

I wish the crowd would get up and rush him.

Gaddafi seems somewhat comfortable in his crazy right now.

Anyway, some news from today.


11:45am Arab satellite television reports that Gaddafi forces were violently moving into two eastern Libyan towns, that were previously under control of rebels. Al Arabiya television said 14 people were killed in the east Libyan town of Marsa El Brega after reports of a counter attack from Gaddafi forces.
12:45pm AJE correspondent: The latest reports that we have heard is that the rebels have succeeded in retaking Brega, but I should stress that this is a fluid situation and I think its fair to say that here is a fair amount of fighting going on in that area.

Twitter reports seem to agree that Brega is in the hands of the opposition now.

1:00pm AJE correspondent: The emphasis in Benghazi has been first and foremost to fortify this town, people have been signing up ... hundreds of men as far as I can tell, have been giving their names and their mobile phone numbers to recruitment officers ... many of them have said that they want to march on Tripoli, but its quite clear that the rebel commanders think that it is the most important thing to secure and consolidate Benghazi, because this is afterall the heart, the seat of the revolution and it is the headquarters, politically and militarily for anti-Gaddafi forces.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the continued updates, V. You're my all-day go-to source for this story.



There's some very disturbing reports of air strikes by Gaddafi forces now.

They appear to be bombing eastern towns on the way to Benghazi.


3:55pm We're hearing from our colleagues at Al Jazeera Arabic that four people have been killed and ten injured in an air raid on the town of Brega.
4:04pm Airstrikes also reported in city of Ajdabiya, just northeast of Brega, Casualty count not yet known.
4:14pm Al Jazeera's Tony Birtley was just on the phone with us - 10km away from the oil-rich town of Brega. As we spoke, he was watching a Libyan airforce jet bombing the area.

It’s now an air attack. We just watched an air force jet from the Libyan air force fly over Brega and drop at least one bomb - and huge plumes of smoke are now coming out over Brega. Another bombed near our position, where anti-Gaddafi forces have gathered.

All the fighters here are massing. We understand that something like 250-300 pro-Gaddafi fighters inside Brega and they are being surrounded. 

Gaddafi is still a force to be reckoned with, he is not giving up.

The population here want an air exclusion zone to prevent this sort of attack - but they don'twant foreign troops on the ground.

All major oil and gas installations in the town are in thehands of the opposition. We believe this is the main reason for the attack.

Meanwhile that lunatic **** was ranting on for about 3 hours talking about how peaceful and wonderful he is and how he has never hurt his people and how everything he has was given by them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the continued updates, V. You're my all-day go-to source for this story.


Same here!

Anyone else wondering if maybe Saif Ghadafi is the one really running the show at this point, and the rest of the family tolerates Daddy's nutso ramblings because an insane figurehead is better than no head at all?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seconded, I'm checking in multiple times a day for your update visionary. Short of a no-fly zone getting rammed through, I think we need to be really careful about considering military options from the US. I don't know that the rebels would really view that as favorable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm seeing a lot of reports of various arrests being made in Tripoli today.

It seems the government is cracking down on people, or maybe they've been waiting and checking to see who's been talking to the media.


5:34pm Al Jazeera's Tim Friend has been researching the size and scope of Libya's military capacity. He tells us:

The air force is said to be made up of 18,000 members, more than 200 fighter aircraft and 35 attack helicopters. But three aircraft have already been lost in the current unrest, and the airworthiness of the remaining jets has been questioned.

The navy boasts 8000 members and two submarines - but western military analysts believe that the subs have long been abandoned.

The Libyan army claims to have 50,000 soldiers, more than 2,200 battle tanks and 945 armoured personnel carriers.

But military analysts believe that years of sanctions and overall neglect have rendered much of the army's equipment useless.

The Libyan army may not have the strength it claims, but there's still a significant force on the ground. Analysts say that Gaddafi has a loyalist brigade made up of 10-12,000 troops - and those forces are trying to block the advance of Gaddafi's armed opposition and maintain control in western Libya.

The heavy presence of loyalist forces means Gaddafi still retains a strong grip on the capital Tripoli, the town of Sabha and his hometown of Sirte.

It's thought that Libya destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical weapons in 2004 as part of a rapprochment with the west. It does have deadly mustard gas stored at a secret desert location, but no longer has the capability to deliver it.

Small comfort for Gaddafi's oppponents, as they battle for victory.

6:13pm Well, after a brief scare when we lost our phone connection with him earlier, we got Al Jazeera's Tony Birtley back on the phone. He painted a graphic picture of the scene outside Brega, which was the target of airstrikes this afternoon. Listen in on his phonecall - and get a better idea of where all this is happening, with this video:


Some good news from the border


6:25pm Al Jazeera's James Bays describes the scene on the Tunisia-Libya border. He tells us that the worst of the emergency is beginning to ease, as the crowd of thousands of refugees has now largely crossed the border into Tunisia.

Once across, they are being given what limited supplies of food aid agencies can muster. The UNHCR has set up a tent city to cope with the more than 75,000 people that have streamed across the border there in the past ten days. There is clearly much to be done, but the scenes of panic have subsided, our correspondent says.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just got home from work. Lots of updates.

Specifically on the fighting and bombing in Brega.

In case folks are wondering, the opposition defeated the Gaddafi troops after being driven back earlier and then held their ground even with the airstrikes coming in.

(And there's more than a few eye opening quotes and comments about intervention and fly zones for me to put in the other thread.)


7:11pm Libyan protesters in the north-western town of Misurata have said they captured a commander working with the Gaddafi brigades, carrying satellite communications equipment built by a US-based company.

This comes after the Thuraya phone company had complained about the jamming of its systems in Libya.

Now for the Brega stuff:

8:03pm Murad Warfally, of the University of Benghazi, tells Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland of today's fighting in Brega.

It has been a great battle - and the Libyan people have won that battle.

I am not worried. I am sending a mesage to Gaddafi: I am not scared of him, he is scared of us. I give thanks for today - he has chosen this battle. And it has been good exercise for our fighters.

The most important thing is that we have heart - we are brave. Today, we defeated him just using rifles. He used airplanes, rockets, heavy weapons - but we have heart, and we won.

We have no means to fight the airplanes. On the ground, we will win. We want a no fly zone, or more blood will be spilled on Libyan soil.

The Libyan people want freedom of speech - we want to live like people in America or in Europe, to be normal and have a normal life. We want to be able to sleep in our beds without fear of being arrested by Gaddafi's secret police.

9:55pm More from Brega - this time from our very own web producer Evan Hill. He confirms that opposition forces had driven Gaddafi troops out of town. Also confirms four dead - and tells us one is believed to be a 12-year-old boy. You can follow Evan on Twitter - @evanchill
10:05pm Al Jazeera's Evan Hill tweets: There were two men dead in Brega hospital who the doctors claimed were pro-Gaddafi. Both young, impossible to tell if army or irregular [non-state fighters].
10:15pm Al Jazeera's Evan Hill (@evanchill): "We were told the attack on Brega consisted of around six jeeps with troops firing pretty much indiscriminately inside Brega University."
Our correspondent was told this dead man in Brega hospital was a pro-Gaddafi fighter. He was wearing green military-style trousers - but apparently no uniform.


This 7-year-old boy was injured in the attack in Brega. His 14-year-old brother was wounded in the forehead. His 12-year-old brother reportedly died.


And here's some of the anti-Gaddafi fighters returning to Brega after seeing off Gaddafi's troops.


10:52pm Al Jazeera's Evan Hill, our man in Brega, has managed to send us some photos.

Meet Colonel Bashir Abdel-Qader, who was directing the opposition troops outside Brega. He's the one in the tie, an unnamed officer next to him holds a grenade



---------- Post added March-2nd-2011 at 09:13 PM ----------

Two extremely disturbing reports:

Not sure how reliable this doctor is, but what he has to say certainly is frightening.


3:33am Some disturbing reports emerging from Tripoli, where a doctor has told Al Jazeera that government security forces have been "throwing patients from windows" into trucks at Tajura Hospital, starving prisoners to death,

kidnapping children and detaining activists.

According to the doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, a 12-year-old boy, on his way to school in a neighbourhood near Gaddafi's Bab Aziz palace, was stripped naked, searched and then kidnapped.

Reproduced below is an excerpt from a chat conversation between the doctor in Libya (named 'Contact' in this transcript) and another London-based colleague (named 'London' in the transcript).

Contact: how they stripped down at 12 year old going from school

Contact: jeehit elkeyada [near where Gaddafi's residence is "bab azezeya"]

Contact: naked

Contact: and opened his school bag

Contact: and then kidnapped him

Contact: and ppl inside the houses were watching

Contact: and could do nothing

Contact: and tajora hospitals

Contact: where they were throwing patients

Contact: thrwoing patients from windows

Contact: hit and miss

Contact: in a big truck

Contact: and hauled them away

Contact: this is doctor eyewitness

Contact: m3ash nigdir [i can't take it anymore]

London: Throwing patients out of hospital windows

London: Oh my god

Contact: and how they're starving the people in jail

Contact: so if they don't die from bullets

Contact: they'll die from thirst

Contact: and hunger

Contact: nass mgawma ya [these are good people]

Contact: hikee yideeroo feehum [how could they do this to them]

The Libya-based doctor also told his friend about a mutual friend, a poet and activist, who was "kidnapped" by pro-Gaddafi forces, who also searched his house and took his laptop. He has not been seen since.

There were a lot of reports earlier today as well that people with eastern relatives were being arrested and kidnapped throughout Libya today.

(possibly for hostage purposes or maybe just to make sure they don't rise up too)

And a very worrisome report from the east.

3:35am A "distress call" from the port town of Brega, which anti-government forces defended against an attack from government troops earlier today, appears to be circulating online.

The veracity of this report cannot be verified, but we reproduce it here verbatim. It says:

O Almanara Media! O free men of Libya! O honourable daughters of Libya! An URGENT URGENT distress call from the city of Brega. In the city of Hrawah which is situated between Raas Lanuf and Sirt, 70 cars full of mercenaries have just arrived to support the battalion which is present there. They plan to attack the city of Brega, occupy it and control its airport. I appeal to God! Please deliver my call of distress! Please! The people of Brega are distressed and the revolutionary youth plan to resist this battalion. By God I fear there may be a massacre tonight, help us help us help us!

This report has been mentioned and reposted a lot on twitter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's been more air strikes today and more attacks by Gaddafi forces, at the same time as Chavez and Gaddafi are talking about peace talks and mediation.


11:50am Witnesses in Ajdabiyah and the oil port town of Brega report fresh fighting today, a day after clashes between anti- and pro-Gaddafi forces left at least 10 civilians dead, residents said.

"Around two hours ago, warplanes dropped a bomb in the area between the oil company and the residential area," Fattah al-Moghrabi, director of supplies for Brega hospital, told the AFP news agency.

"As far as I know, there was no casualties," he said.

2:27pm Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, has announced that Muammar Gaddafi and key figures will be investigated for alleged crimes against humanity.

Speaking at a press conference in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Thursday, Moreno-Ocampo said he would investigate claims that peaceful forces had been attacked by forces loyal to Gaddafi.

He added that opposition forces would also be investigated.


#Gaddafi soldier captured in Brega yesterday joins the revolutionaries after seeing how they treated him: http://j.mp/dGPFaQ #Libya about 1 hour ago via web
Thanks @reiadh: Finally a clarification from Zliten about events there: http://j.mp/fNaaXD, I'll translate over the next few tweets. #Libya 42 minutes ago via TweetDeck
Zliten: Between Feb 20-23 we completely expelled regime forces from our city and burned down their security points... #Libya 41 minutes ago via TweetDeck

Zliten: Feb 23 Jahafel Brigade attacked us, killed 1 and injured over 15, meanwhile we had no weapons except stones & molotov... #Libya 40 minutes ago via TweetDeck
Zliten: #Gaddafi's Jahafel Brigade still controls the city to the day. We have no weapons... #Libya 38 minutes ago via TweetDeck
Zliten: We declare that we are joining the national council formed in Benghazi unconditionally... #Libya 37 minutes ago via TweetDeck
Zliten: We call upon our brothers in Misurata to assist us to liberate our city which is under occupation. #Libya 37 minutes ago via TweetDeck
Zliten: Helping us liberate our city will also secure Misurata since they are attacking from here. #Libya 36 minutes ago via TweetDeck

A reporter on Al Jazeera earlier was saying that people in Benghazi told her that around 400 people left for Tripoli a few days ago and then 80 came back recently saying that the rest had been captured or killed. She was unable to verify or confirm it though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apparently Al Khums was taken over by Gaddafi forces too, on the way to Zlitan a few days ago (or possibly afterwards). In any case it means that the Gaddafi forces have control from Tripoli all the way almost to Misrata (which is heavily opposition controlled). And after Misrata from Sirt to Ras Lanuf.

(check the map in the previous post for reference.)


Between Tajura and Khums there are 6-7 checkpoints, some with tanks and others with infantry & anti-aircraft guns. #Libya 14 minutes ago via web
Confirmed the city of Khums still under Gaddafi control, situation same as Zliten; demonstrations & uprisings but no weapons... #Libya 13 minutes ago via web
Soldiers on the checkpoints are exhausted and scared, and just fed up. They seem about to rebel or flee. #Libya 12 minutes ago via web
When my contact tried to head on to Misurata, the soldiers said "There are people distributing drugs there, so you can't go" #Libya 11 minutes ago via web
Now in Tripoli, esp. in Tajura, they're telling people not to head to Friday prayers and protest, otherwise they'll "get hurt". #Libya 10 minutes ago via web
So now three cities have uprisings and rebellions but are "occupied" by Gaddafi: Gharyan, Zlitan, and Khums. Give these people guns. #Libya 6 minutes ago via web
Last email I got from Tripoli was 4 hours ago. Nothing since. Rumors internet & phones have been cut in anticipation of tomorrow. #Libya 4 minutes ago via web
@iyad_elbaghdadi what happened with nalut, gov forces were headed there yesteray 17 minutes ago via Twitter for iPad in reply to iyad_elbaghdadi
@curioustip They never reached, they were intercepted at Zintan and very badly defeated. Many captured. 14 minutes ago via web in reply to curioustip


Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, said the bombing of Brega was intended to scare off militia fighters and gain control of oil installations.

"First of all the bombs (were) just to frighten them to go away," he told Britain's Sky News. "Not to frighten them."

But on the ground, events appeared to turn against Gaddafi, as rebels spearheading the unprecedented popular revolt pushed their frontline against government loyalists west of Brega, where they had repulsed an attack a day earlier.

The opposition fighters said troops loyal to Gaddafi had been driven back to Ras Lanuf, home to another major oil terminal and 600 km (375 miles) east of Tripoli.

They also said they had captured a group of mercenaries.

In an angry scene at al-Uqayla, east of Ras Lanuf, a rebel shouted inches from the face of a captured young African and alleged mercenary: "You were carrying guns, yes or no? You were with Gaddafi's brigades yes or no?"

The silent youth was shoved onto his knees into the dirt. A man held a pistol close to the boy's face before a reporter protested and told the man that the rebels were not judges.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Confirmed that revolutionaries have progressed till Bishr; preparing for an attack on Ras Lanuf. #Libya about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck
National provisional council & military council in Benghazi now agree to limited air strikes, but reject any foreign soldiers in #Libya. about 2 hours ago via web
Revolutionaries at Bishr, Brega, and Ajdabia are in very high spirits. I can only imagine what #Gaddafi's men's morale is like. #Libya about 2 hours ago via web
The victory at Brega was critical indeed. Revolutionaries are now more organized, emboldened, and confident. Huge boost. #Libya about 2 hours ago via web
Have to clarify this: Many voices in the east are against an attack on Sirt. It will fuel tribal animosities. #Libya about 2 hours ago via web
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The silent youth was shoved onto his knees into the dirt. A man held a pistol close to the boy's face before a reporter protested and told the man that the rebels were not judges.

---- some damn brave reporters. My hat is off to these guys.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An interesting article about the tribes in Libya


Soon after the Libyan rebellion escalated, a senior member of the nation's powerful Warfallah tribe announced it would no longer support Moammar Gadhafi, saying that "he is no longer a brother."

The Zawiya tribe, based in a petroleum-rich region in the east, threatened to cut off oil flow. The Bani Walid tribe decided to withdraw its men from the regime's security brigades. And the influential Zintan tribe, allied in the past to Gadhafi's own tribe, broadcast a statement of support for the opposition.

One after another, Libya's myriad tribes are falling in line against Gadhafi, and the implications are enormous, said longtime observers of Libya, because for centuries, tribes have formed the backbone of the North African nation.

The situation in Zawiyah:


1:40am According to a message posted on the Voices of Feb 17 site, things in the city of Az Zawiyah have been quiet just recently, with opposition forces who control the city organising committees to ensure that the city keeps running.

While people in the city have been singing, chanting slogans and even writing political poetry against Gaddafi, medical supplies in the city are reportedly running low. According to the person who recorded the message, pro-Gaddafi forces are not allowing medical supplies to pass through checkpoints if those carrying them say they are bound for Az Zawiyah. He said that one person falsely claimed that he was headed for Sabratha, and was allowed to pass.

There are calls in the city for a large demonstration and march after Friday prayers, when anti-government protesters say they will walk across the city to where Gaddafi's troops are stationed.

More from Gaddafi's son:

3:46am Saif al-Islam Gaddafi says bomb attacks at Brega were intended to "frighten" rebels into retreating. In an interview with Sky News, Gaddafi said:

The bombs were just to frighten them to go away. There is no city there, the city of Brega is miles away. I'm talking about the harbour, only oil refinery there."

He also stressed that the government would do everything in its power to maintain control of the oil refinery.

This is the oil and gas hub of Libya. All of us, we eat, we live because of Brega. Without Brega, six million people have no future because we export all of our oil from there.

"There are militia and they were filming themselves. They came with three tanks and heavy machine guns. There is a red line, you cannot control the harbour. Excuse me!

"Nobody will allow the militia to control Brega, it's like you allowing somebody to control Rotterdam harbour."

2:07am Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son, has been speaking to Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught in Tripoli. An excerpt from the interview:

It's a joke, please. We are not kids, stop calling us ... we have no money outside. [...] Give me a single evidence that we- show me our bank accounts [you allege that we have abroad]. Show me. [...]

"The west, we know them very well. When you are strong, they run after you. They are like, you know, they are like cats. If you are weak, they want to be like tigers. We know this game... we know them for a long time. The West, the Americans, the NATO ... we don't pay attention to them.

"Please, come on. We know the organised media campaign against Libya. This country will survive. I know they want to split the country. They want to just destroy it. They want to control its assets, it's a very rich country. Small population. This will not happen. So we are telling those people: be happy. This will never happen. Because the Libyan people are so united. And please, wait for surprises."

Pictures from the border:

3:19am These pictures, taken by the International Medical Corps, show refugees who have gathered at the Libya-Tunisia border. International agencies have warned of a growing humanitarian crisis in border towns, with particular concerns for the safety of migrants who remain trapped in the country.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why are all those able bodied men fleeing?...the rebels should offer them a piece of the pie.

A lot of them aren't Libyans and probably don't want to die there, be imprisoned, or trapped in Libya, or be forced into Gaddafi's militias.

Now if the rebels are trying to recruit people to their side, I have no idea...but I have a feeling they have, although maybe more to the East. There are reports of Egyptian migrants who have been there for a while helping out there. I think in the West it's a lot harder to get people who don't have a stake in things to go up against constant attacks by the government forces.

Then there's the darker skinned Africans who are in danger of reprisals if they stick around because many of their countrymen have been and are still being brought in from other countries by Gaddafi to kill the locals and who have been kidnapped in some cases and forced to fight for Gaddafi as well.

And there are others with dual citizenship in the East living in Tripoli who want to be safer and are able to get away.

Maybe not the bravest, but I can understand being afraid with people being gunned down in the streets and made to disappear in the night in the capital.

More about the the refugee situation:


"There is a strong need for urgent relief -- food, water, sanitation and shelter to the thousands on both sides of the Tunisian and Egyptian borders due to significant population movements, mainly of migrant workers," a U.N. statement warned. "It is also necessary to prepare for a further possible escalation of humanitarian needs should conditions deteriorate inside Libya."

The participants in Thursday's talks, which included the Arab League, the European Union and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, urged Libya to allow "immediate and unimpeded access" to determine what was needed.

"The situation here remains tense," said Firas Kayal, a spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency on the Tunisian border. "There is lots of congestion on this side of the border and we are hearing that many thousands are waiting on the Libyan side to come through.

Village bakeries have increased production to feed the stranded, he said.

"The local community has been so generous in providing food, medicines and places to stay, but the capacity of the local community is reaching its limit because the numbers are so huge," he said.

The refugees include Bangladeshis, Vietnamese, Thais, Koreans, Malians, Ghanaians and Sudanese who had entered Libya seeking work. But most of the workers are Egyptian citizens, and that country's caretaker government has paid for flights from Djerba to Cairo to take them home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


4:50am After Muammar Gaddafi's consistent claims that those rebelling against his rule are drug-addled youths being manipulated by al-Qaeda, the Libyan anti-narcotics force now says it has intercepted 37 million units of Tramadol, a painkiller, that had been allegedly bought by a Libyan drug dealer "with links to al-Qaeda".

CNN talked about this too

The side effects of the drug according to CNN are drowsiness and constipation.

5:04am Twitter is abuzz with reports of "air strikes" being carried out in the western city of Misurata within the last hour. These reports remain unverified, but we will keep you updated on the situation as it develops.


Fierce battles are raging in Misurata from about an hour ago, mainly in the south of the city. #Libya about 1 hour ago via TweetDeck
If there are indeed airstrikes in the south of Misurata I would only hope they signal the failure of a ground attack, as in Brega. #Libya 31 minutes ago via TweetDeck

Not sure how reliable this next person is, but what they are tweeting certainly seems worrying:


Gaddafi replies to #Obama and the world by using airforce to bomb civilains and children living near Airforce Academy of #MIsrata about 1 hour ago via web
#Gaddafi's militias & mercenaries are trying to capture #Misrata #Misurata airport & port thru air land & sea massive bombardment #libya about 1 hour ago via web
It was underreported, but Gaddafi attempted to bribe Misurata yesterday. The attack must come because they refused. #Libya about 1 hour ago via TweetDeck
@andersoncooper Misurata is being bombarded from the sea, air & land by Gaddafi's militias & so is Nalut to the West

On CNN they're talking to a doctor in Misurata who is saying that young people there have been getting kidnapped lately by government forces.

I've seen similar reports on twitter, Al Jazeera tv, and other places the past day or so.

(no idea how they would be doing it though....)

I heard this on CNN too, but it didn't really register with me at the time:


The members of a CNN news crew got the most vivid possible sense of the potential for the Libyan protests against Muammar Gadhafi to escalate toward civil war yesterday: A bomb detonating mere feet away from the site where they were filming an on-the-ground report.

"A Libyan air force jet ... flew right over our heads and dropped [a] bomb," Middle East correspondent Ben Wedeman told Eliot Spitzer last night. "It wasn't more than about a hundred feet from where we were standing." Wedeman was the first Western TV journalist to make it on air last week from Libya, where reporting conditions have been more dangerous than they were in neighboring regimes. You can watch the video of Wedeman's account below.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chavez Doesn't Quit


9:11am Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez continues to push his mediation plan despite the idea being rejected by Libyan opposition groups and Western governments.

Protesters in Venezuela have added their voices to the uprising, chanting slogans in support of the Libyan people and condemning Chavez's proposal to work with Gaddafi, whom they labelled a murderer.

This photo, provided by the Reuters news agency, shows a protest in support of the Libyan people in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas:


More Airstrikes in Eastern Libya this morning?


10:20am The Reuters news agency is now reporting a new air attack in eastern Libya, citing witnesses who say a Libyan warplane dropped a bomb near a rebel-held base in the eastern town of Ajdabiyah.

We are working to confirm that report.

The Friday Prayer Situation


Last communication from Tripoli expected that mosques will be closed, and people will be asked to go back home. #Libya 12 minutes ago via web
@lebeeya I'm guessing he just may do that in rebellious areas like Tajura. I'm sure he won't attempt it in all of Tripoli. 6 minutes ago via web in reply to lebeeya
@iyad_elbaghdadi Al-Arabiya and NBC have already reported that foreign journalists are not allowed to leave their hotel. 17 minutes ago via web in reply to iyad_elbaghdadi Retweeted by iyad_elbaghdadi and 10 others


Gaddafi is apparently shutting down the mosques now. He truly believes he is god. The world should do more to help the Libyan ppl. 10 minutes ago via web

Remember there's supposed to be major demonstrations in Tripoli today and the regime has already cut the phones and the internet.


Libyan officials bar reporters from leaving hotel ahead of mass protests: http://goo.gl/H5MVf #Gaddafi #Libya #Feb17 26 minutes ago via web


When journalists including Reuters reporters tried to walk out of the gates of the main media hotel, to the south of Tripoli city centre, security guards blocked their way.

A Libyan government spokesman said journalists were being kept in the Rixos hotel because their presence could trigger violence from what he described as affiliates of al Qaeda.

"These are exceptional circumstances. I know you're going to talk about it and twist it the way you want," said the spokesman Mussa Ibrahim. "We are preparing to pay this price of preventing you guys from reporting to avoid turning Tripoli into Baghdad."

Sounds like the regime plans to do a lot of killing today.

(or maybe they just don't want them to see the protests.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More about the major offensive Gaddafi forces launched against Misrata this morning


Meanwhile, a doctor on the northwestern part of the Libyan coast said residents were scrambling to stay safe amid attacks by forces loyal to the long-term ruler.

Attackers were shooting at doctors and ambulances in Misrata, the doctor said.

"We are are holding our city, we are trying to protect our city," the doctor told CNN's "AC360" early Friday.

"We are doing our job in the hospital and trying to treat everybody. This morning, they shot at our ambulances. One of them exploded ... they shot at our doctors."

At least 40 people were killed in the city and 300 suffered gunshot wounds to the head and chest, the doctor said.

I'm seeing multiple reports of a huge attack being made on Zawiyah as well.

It seems Gaddafi has chosen today to be a bloody Friday.


New reports that the city of #Misrata is completely surrounded by #Gaddafi forces, nothing can go in or come out. #Libya #feb17 6 minutes ago via web

So not only do they steal people's cameras, phones, and valuables before letting them cross, they won't even let them leave anymore


Red Cross says number of people crossing Libya-Tunisia border has suddenly dropped as border is being manned by pro-Gaddafi forces. 2 minutes ago via SkyNews Alerts - Breaking

---------- Post added March-4th-2011 at 06:07 AM ----------

Some varied news updates:


1044 GMT: AFP's Mariano Andrade in Ajdabiya has seen a group of cars heading out of Ajdabiya towards Brega. One group came from the eastern town of Al-Baida, and another from Tobruk. Mohammad, 35, who works in a bank in Tobruk, told AFP he had come to fight in the 'jihad' with a group of friends. "A lot of cars have started to come from Tobruk in the last two days. I'm coming with four friends. We don't have heavy guns, but we expect to get them when we reach Brega. We have to prove to him (Kadhafi) that this is our land. This is the time of jihad," he told AFP.
1040 GMT: Antoine Lambroschini, AFP's reporter in Tripoli, says journalists have been rounded up and an official from the Libyan foreign ministry has warned them that "journalists found in the street will be arrested." Anti-regime protests are expected in Tripoli later, after Friday prayers. Communications are difficult, Antoine adds, and the Thuraya satellite telephone system is down.
But it said heavily armed pro-regime forces are now manning the Libyan side, and feared this may be why less than 2,000 people crossed the border on Thursday.

"On previous days, between 10,000 and 15,000 fled everyday into Tunisia, yesterday less than 2,000 made it across the border," said Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman of the High Commissioner for Refugees. "UNHCR is very concerned that the security situation in Libya may be preventing people crossing the border.

"The border on the Libyan side of the border is now manned by heavily armed pro-government forces," she added. Those that did manage to cross the border told the UNHCR that "their mobile phones had been confiscated en route, along with cameras."

"Many of those who have crossed the border appear to be frightened and are unwilling to speak," said Fleming.

Time for some rest. Feeling kind of worn out right now.

I'll update again when I wake up, if there's some important news.

Hopefully it will be better than so far this morning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Friday prayers in Benghazi calls on the people of Sirte to rise up against the Tyrant (hometown and support town of gaddafi) #Libya #Feb17 about 2 hours ago via web
AJ reports clashes at Ras Lanuf, this is the last town before sirte Gaddafi's hometown #Libya #Feb17 #gaddaficrimes about 2 hours ago via web
BREAKING: A split reported in the Ras lanuf pro gaddafi brigade, last town before Sirte, when confirmed is major development #Libya #Feb17 26 minutes ago via web
BREAKING: 100s So far protesting in Tripol after Friday prayers, this protest should snow ball, pro gaddafi trying to disperse them #Libya 24 minutes ago via web
CONFIRMED: Tear gas being thrown as well as gun shots heard at various districts in Tripoli #Libya #Feb17 #gaddaficrimes 18 minutes ago via web
BREAKING: Reports of Clashes in the heart of Tripoli #Libya #Feb17 #gaddaficrimes 9 minutes ago via web

There's lots of reports and confirmations on twitter that live ammunition is being used to put down the protests in the capital. Also I have seen some reports of dozens dead in Zawiyah.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Al Jazeera is reporting that around 50 are dead in Zawiyah and the clashes there between Gaddafi forces and the opposition there continue.

Wonder who was sending the money....


3:46pm A spokesperson from HM Treasury, the United Kingdom government department responsible for developing and executing the British government's public finance policy and economic policy, said:

"A vessel which had been heading to Libya returned to the UK on Wednesday morning. The ship was escorted into the port of Harwich by the UK Border Agency cutter HMC Vigilant. A number of containers were offloaded from the boat and have been taken under control of UK Border Agency and have been moved to a secure location.

"The cargo is understood to contain a significant quantity of Libyan currency which is subject to a UN sanction."

3:53pm In an interview with Al Jazeera Arabic, Abdel Rahman Shalgham, the Libyan ambassador to the UN, says he is representing the intern council, not Gaddafi.

" We ask Gaddafi to step down like Mubarak or leave the country like Ben Ali." He also said that at least 80 per cent of those who are still supporting Gaddafi are mercenaries. " We are going to put the mercenaries and their countries on trail. I asked all the people to support the interim council," Shalgham said.

---------- Post added March-4th-2011 at 09:25 AM ----------


unconfiremd news from Zawia: 1 of western journalists bbc or cnn has been injured today, revolutioners took him 2 the hospital #libya 12 minutes ago via Power Twitter from Birmingham, Birmingham Retweeted by oxfordgirl and 9 others


#Gadaffi army use tank weapons and machine gun fire on #Zawiyah people's protest. 50+ dead & injured including kids. Bullets hit mbulances 11 minutes ago via Twitter for Mac Retweeted by LibyaNewMedia and 13 others
Confirmed reports that in the city of #Geryan, the citizens took over the city once again and destroyed the military base there! #Libya 13 minutes ago via web
Breaking #Gaddafi army shoot-to-kill protestors in #Zawiyah - more than 50 taken to hospital with bullet wounds to head, neck & chest #feb17 9 minutes ago via Twitter for Mac
MsEntropy (#Libya RT #Tripoli demonstrators, head to Hotel Rixos (journalists are there) للمتظاهرون في طرابلس : اذهبو ا إلى فندق ريكسوس (الصحفيين هناك 32 minutes ago via web
SaloumehZ RT @LibyaFeb17_com BREAKING: Journalists in Tripoli disobey orders to stay in hotels and leave to cover events - #feb17 #libya 17 minutes ago via web
Airstrikes r targeting ppl who r heading with there cars to #RasLanuf #Ocampo s council , keep looking into reports untill we all die; ok? 6 minutes ago via web
it is a real massacre in AlZZawia now..really massacre..gaddafi is using anti-tanks..heavy heavy...more than 50 dead...200 injuried,, 2 minutes ago via web


Alarabiya: in #Zawiyah Abulance headed to pick up injured was shot at, injured protester killed #Libya 18 minutes ago via web
Alarabiya: Reporting #Zawiyah Murder of the Military Commissioner For Protesters Husein Darbook and his deputy. #Libya 13 minutes ago via web
Alarabiya: Doctor in #Zawiyah reports: 'Hospital accommodate take the heavily injured, we are not equipted for this kind of load' #Libya 5 minutes ago via web
Alarabiya: Doctor in #Zawiyah reports: Civilians are getting killed. Not only Protesters #Libya


Anti aircraft rounds fired at #Gaddafi planes to protect revolutionaries in #RasLanuf. #Libya 5 minutes ago via web

Not sure I understand that. Who was firing at the planes?

Ok, not feeling good. Time for another nap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some important news. Apparently the opposition has taken Ras Lanuf and also as I quoted earlier they took control of Gharyan which is to the south of Tripoli, near Az Zintan.

edit: 11:05 est:

Unfortunately it seems that Zawiyah is about to fall along with the lives of thousands of the opposition there.

Reports @libyaoutreach: Revolutionaries regain control over Gharyan! #Libya about 1 hour ago via web
Breaking (BRQ): Revolutionaries completely & soundly in control of Ras Lanuf now! #Libya 43 minutes ago via TweetDeck
Tribulusterr @iyad_elbaghdadi @libyaoutreach @Libya4life Conf'd reports that in #Geryan, citizens took over city again, destroyed military base! #Libya 43 minutes ago via web in reply to iyad_elbaghdadi
Aljazeera is reporting air strikes on Ras Lanuf. Recently this has been happening after Gaddafi loses control of a city. #Libya 40 minutes ago via TweetDeck
Aljazeera & Reuters now confirming: Revolutionaries take Ras Lanuf. #Libya 36 minutes ago via TweetDeck
@ArmchairArab Heard that there was in-fighting within his own ranks in Ras Lanuf, and some others joining the revolution. 27 minutes ago via web in reply to ArmchairArab
Reports of fighting now in Ras Lanuf as revolutionaries attempt to overrun and take the airport... #Libya 17 minutes ago via TweetDeck
Via @Libyanfsl: Nalut: revolutionaries arrest 250 Mercenaries #Libya #Feb17 14 minutes ago via web
Zawia: City is currently under siege from both entry points, please follow Sky News who have a reporter in Zawia #Libya #Feb17

Al Jazeera seems to be reporting that Gaddafi has re-taken Az Zawiyah.

I'm not certain about this however, as there are lots of reports of an on going battle there and the city was fairly well fortified.

That said:


At the same time Gaddafi's forces have regained control of az-Zawiyah, 50km from Tripoli, according to state television.

Read more of our Libya coverage

"The people of Zawiyah and the heads of the popular committees have made Zawiyah safe from the armed terrorist forces," Channel One reported on Friday.

Government forces are said to be battling to regain control of rebel-held towns close to Tripoli, trying to create a buffer zone around what is still Gaddafi's seat of power


BREAKING: Az Zawiya still in the hands of revolutionaries, but under siege from east and west - #feb17 #libya - http://t.co/qPgHNKH 23 minutes ago via Tweet Button
BREAKING: Zawiya still being heavily shelled. Many casualties. - #feb17 #libya - http://t.co/qPgHNKH 7 minutes ago via Tweet Button
BREAKING: Az Zawiya revolutionaries pushed back to the city's central square - #feb17 #libya - http://t.co/qPgHNKH 1 minute ago via Tweet Button


17:55 The Guardian: An improvised force of revolutionaries has been pushed back to the central square in Zawiyah, where about 2,000 anti-Gaddfi protesters are getting ready to make a “last stand”, a rebel spokesman has told Reuters. Youssef Shagan said: “We are on the square, all of our forces are here. The square is safe but they [government forces] are attacking from east and west. We will fight until the end. They have now started trying to go into the city to try to retake it.”


REUTERSFLASH At least 30 civilians killed by pro-Gaddafi forces after attack on Zawiyah - Residents 11 minutes ago via web
Link to comment
Share on other sites

More news from Zawiyah and Ras Lanuf.

Ras Lanuf


#1608: Government forces in Ras Lanouf have responded by firing artillery shells and missiles, and sending helicopters to strafe the rebels with machine guns. A rebel earlier told Reuters that they had captured the town's airport. Another told AFP that at least four rebels had been killed. As the battle raged, the rebels reportedly chanted: "Where is Obama! We want a no-fly zone!"

Not sure if this is new information or from earlier:


AJA reporter from Ras Lanuf: Gaddafi #forces holding 3 defensive positions, estimates 1000 revolutionary forces. #Libya 16 minutes ago via web
AJA reporter from Ras Lanuf: Revolutionary forces growing. Call cut before reporter could specify which side had greater control #Libya 15 minutes ago via web
AJA breaking. Reporter: revolutionaries find 20 dead bodies, handcuffed at a base in Ras Lanuf #Libya 12 minutes ago via web
AJA Reporter in Ras Lanuf: many from Gaddafi brigade fleeing into desert, revolutionaries pressing to capture city by night. #Libya
AJA Reporter in Ras Lanuf: leader defecting from the brigade motivated the revolutionaries to move to ras lanuf #Libya 2 minutes ago via web
AJA Reporter in Ras Lanuf: Old Libyan flags raised on the east entrance of the city #LIbya 2 minutes ago via web
AJA Reporter in Ras Lanuf: al-Maghribiyah tribe (residing in Ras Lanuf) provided support to the revolutionaries #Libya half a minute ago via web
AJA Reporter in Ras Lanuf: in heaviest fighting unarmed and journalists were asked by revolutionaries to leave Ras Lanuf for their safety. 3 minutes ago via web

(this stuff from Al Jazeera seems to be mostly older news. There were reports a few minutes ago or so that opposition forces had reached Bin Jawad somewhere west of Ras Lanuf)


#1721: The Guardian's Martin Chulov tweets: "Ras Lanuf clashes have led to numerous casualties, locals tell me. #libya #feb17. Ambulances streaming south from Ajdabiya."
#1725: Martin Chulov's tweet is backed up by this tweet from Soliman Albrassi: "3 burned bodies arrived now to Ras Lanuf hospital now, Qadfi army burn libyan soliders who refused to kill libyan viva#libya viva libya"

Az Zawiyah


#1630: Libya hopes to regain full control of Zawiya soon, possibly later on Friday, a government spokesman tells Reuters.
#1640: Mansour Mohammad, a resident of Zawiya just spoke to BBC Arabic TV and confirmed Gaddafi's people are trying to retake the city, and that the battle is underway at the moment.
#1642: Zawiya eyewitness: "There was an attack this morning on the western entrance to Zawiya, and it was fought off strongly by rebels, and many martyrs fell. There was a peaceful demo to the eastern entrance of the city, and suddenly live fire descended upon the demonstrators from a building, many martyrs fell."
#1647: More from Zawiya: "We thought they [the government] just wanted to prevent people from heading to Tripoli from Zawiya, but now we can see that they want to enter Zawiya themselves."

I'm seeing lots of reports of mercenaries being sent into the country from other African nations via convoy to fight for Gaddafi and a helicopter heading towards Zawiyah with possibly more forces.


"About 2-300 have left in the last seven days," said a senior elected official, who did not want to be named, from the Kidal region in the north of the country, where many Tuareg live.

Another Tuareg man from Kidal said: "It's true many young men are leaving. It all started about a week back."

He said he had spoken to a convoy of 40 vehicles who are in southern Algeria waiting to cross the border into Libya.

The elected official said: "They are being paid about $10,000 (£6,000) to join up and then I've heard they are being told that they will get $1,000 a day to fight."

Continue reading the main story

These people are travelling through the desert. Nobody controls the borders in the Sahara”

The official claimed that some of the money was coming through the Libyan embassy in the Malian capital, Bamako.


Eyewitness in Zawadahmany observes heavy troop transport twin-rotor helicopter (Chinook?) overhead, flying westwards. #Libya 9 minutes ago via web
@miguelmarquez from ABC also reports Chinooks over Tripoli, counts 3. Our eyewitness thinks direction is Zawya #Libya 5 minutes ago via web

CNN is showing a lot of horrific video footage of the "bloodbath" going on as protesters are being attacked in the streets of Zawiyah.

Also footage of people throwing rocks and smoke bombs at Gaddafi forces in Tripoli.

--Notice that I have updated some news from Las Ranuf and am adding more to what I had earlier in this post as I go along.--

---------- Post added March-4th-2011 at 01:06 PM ----------

Latest Maps of Gaddafi/opposition control:


Notice Las Ranuf is now added to the opposition side and Bin Jawad where some opposition forces are said to have reached is also marked.

Keep in mind that Al Bayda and Tobruk are to the east of the edge of the map and both are major opposition strongholds that have sent reinforcements to Brega and other places.






EDIT: 2:50 pm EST

Additional notes: if you look at the map here, you'll see that Gharyan is a question mark, but there seems to be confirmation now of the opposition flag flying in that city and that it has joined the opposition.

Also to the east of Gharyan is Tarhuna/Tarhouna which I'm assuming is one of the three cities that this guy in my next post has mentioned as a place where the furjan tribe has a good foothold.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very Interesting reports involving Las Ranuf and Sirt


We reported early (first or second day of the revolution) that #Gaddafi distributed weapons in Sirt, saying "you'll need them soon". #Libya 5 minutes ago via web
We also reported that elements of the Furjan tribe have joined the revolution, esp. in Tarhuna. #Libya 4 minutes ago via TweetDeck
For a little background, the Furjan tribe have a presence in Tarhuna, Sirt, and Ajdabia. #Libya 4 minutes ago via TweetDeck
It seems that today in Ras Lanuf's action, some Furjan soldiers under #Gaddafi refused to comply. #Libya 3 minutes ago via TweetDeck
When revolutionaries entered the Ras Lanuf army camp, they found 20+ bodies of soldiers with their hands tied behind their back. #Libya 2 minutes ago via TweetDeck
It appears now that these were soldiers who refused to comply, many of them Furjan. #Libya 1 minute ago via TweetDeck
It's also revealed that in Sirt, #Gaddafi did not in fact distribute weapons to the entire population, not even to his entire tribe. #Libya less than 20 seconds ago via TweetDeck
It appears he only distributed weapons to his own branch of the #Gaddafi's, showing he doesn't even trust his own tribe entirely. #Libya 7 minutes ago via TweetDeck
Now it appears that Sirt has been ready for revolt, but the presence of the Saadi brigade prevented that. #Libya 4 minutes ago via TweetDeck
With Furjan soldiers slaying, a significant population of Sirt appears ready to join the revolution as it approaches. #Libya 2 minutes ago via TweetDeck
The humiliating defeat of the Saadi brigade today in Ras Lanuf also helps increase probability of uprising in Sirt. #Libya 1 minute ago via TweetDeck

-If this is all true...it would be HUGE news.-

Previously, there were voices calling to completely avoid attacking Sirt, afraid that a bloody tribal battle will ensue... #Libya 2 minutes ago via web
But with these new revelations, it seems that an approach by revolutionary forces towards Sirt may tip the city over to the uprising. #Libya 2 minutes ago via web
If Sirt would join the revolution, it would be a game changer, allowing free movement from the east to the west, esp. Misurata. #Libya half a minute ago via web
Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...