Saturday, August 20, 2011

DTN News - BATTLE FOR LIBYA: Muammar Gaddafi's End Very Near - Rebel Chief

Defense News: DTN News - BATTLE FOR LIBYA: Muammar Gaddafi's End Very Near - Rebel Chief
DTN Canada Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources AFP
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - August 20, 2011: LIBYA'S embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi has urged his supporters to "march by the millions" and end a months-long rebellion which he has termed a masquerade.

"We have to put an end to this masquerade. You must march by the millions to free the destroyed towns" controlled by the rebels, he said in a message on state television.

Rebels have closed in on Tripoli, Gaddafi's bastion, by claiming a third key city in 24 hours and predicted his 42-year-old rule was on its last legs.

Rebels pushed into Brega, Zawiya and Zliten, although some counterattacks have also been reported.

"We have contacts with people from the inner circle of Gaddafi," said Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the chairman of the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC). "All evidence (shows) that the end is very near, with God's grace."

"I expect a catastrophic end for him and his inner circle, and I expect that he will create a situation within Tripoli. I hope my expectation is wrong," Abdel Jalil said.

Abdel Jalil was speaking to reporters as a flurry of rumours suggested that Gaddafi was preparing to flee Libya, and as rebels claimed to have seized three strategic towns as they push their advance on the capital.

''I expect a catastrophic end for him and his inner circle, and I expect that he will a create a situation within Tripoli. I hope my expectation is wrong,'' Abdel Jalil said.

''That would be a good thing that will end the bloodshed and help us avoid material costs. But I do not expect that he will do that,'' Abdel Jalil added.

Libya's former number two, Abdessalam Jalloud, left for Italy via Tunisia on Saturday, a senior Tunisian government official told AFP.

Jalloud, who was a former Prime Minister ostracised from Gaddafi's regime, had earlier been reported to have fled to rebel-held territory.

He took ''a plane for Italy from Djerba airport at 3:40am (1240 AEST)'', an airport official on the resort island told AFP.

The government official said ''Jalloud left Djerba airport for Italy at dawn on a Maltese plane with his family''.

He could not say how many people boarded the flight.

Libya's state-run JANA news agency downplayed Jalloud's escape, saying he had remained out of politics for some time.

''Jalloud had remained away from politics out of his own free will, and spent most of his time abroad for (medical) care for heart disease,'' the agency said.

''There is nothing worth mentioning about Abdessalem Jalloud,'' it added.

Another source in Tunisia said Gaddafi's former close aide arrived in the southern Tunisian town of Remada on Friday night.

''He surrendered to the Tunisian army before he was taken care of by Qataris,'' the source said, adding that Italy may only be a stopover before Jalloud settles elsewhere.

Qatar is one of the few Arab countries that is an active partner in the international intervention against the Gaddafi regime. It also recognises the rebels' National Transitional Council and is home to the Free Libya television station which it partly finances.

In the Italian capital, foreign ministry spokesman Maurizio Massari would not confirm or deny the report.

''We are verifying this information,'' he said.

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*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources AFP
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*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News



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