Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The rebels to Sirte: "Ready to export crude oil" at the command of NATO operations

TRIPOLI - With immediate effect, NATO is formally in charge and has already appointed the Canadian General Charles Bouchard, leader of NATO military operations in Libya. After the agreement of the Twenty-eight line takes shape. A 'no fly zone plus' and the naval arms embargo. Concerning the participation of the ground will be seen below, although the important "is to defend civilians" and the advance of troops on the ground might be too dangerous for citizens.

Not more than dawn Odyssey (Odyssey dawn), now the military operation is called Unified protector (Unified protection) and is coordinated from Naples. With the passing of command from the coalition of the willing (which included a dozen countries) to NATO, the new name, wants above all to remember that the instrument of protection of the population is now single and united.

Bouchard has meanwhile started to bomb Tripoli and Sirte with air strikes in the evening. "I was appointed commander of Combined Joint Operations Command embargo and we have also started to successfully implement the no-fly zone," said the general of NATO in a statement. Colonel Gaddafi - not seen on television as well as not seen his children since last Wednesday (the day of his last public speech) - But do not surrender.

Moves instead. According to his spokesman: "He is following the war. We are at war and so do the heads of state. Change place, move in every city and manage military operations. "His forces have started to hammer measured. Witnesses speak of more than eight people hit by mortar fire." There was another massacre, "he said by phone a man who gave his name as Saadoun.

"Some of the 24 wounded were in serious condition, have lost parts of the body," he said, adding that the new offensive loyalist came from the west. Misurata is the weak link, not yet entirely in the hands of the rebels, however, are more stable in other cities. The forces loyal to the regime have taken up the attack on the port city of Tripoli and Sirte because, according to the insurgents, Gaddafi is moving there all his weight in an attempt to control the entire western part of the country after losing the east.

Rebels to Sirte. After the recapture of Agedabia, Brega, Jawad Bin Uqayla and, after taking control of major oil facilities at Ras Lanuf, Marsa el Brega and Tobruk, Libya, the rebels continued in the advance to Sirte, the birthplace of Muammar Gaddafi today from where they were seen leaving the city, on their way to Tripoli, a convoy of 20 military vehicles and dozens of civilians.

Up to now, had never managed to reach it and had stopped at Ben Jawad, less than 200 km to the east. Sirte is considered a stronghold of the Colonel. The capital of the municipality of Sirte, the equivalent of an Italian region, which borders the north-west of Misurata. Gaddafi, who was born there in 1942 during the presidency had made several attempts to make it the state capital.

"Today we want to go to Sirte," said 25-year old Marjai Agoura, one of the hundred insurgents deployed on the new front line on Jawad Bin, the westernmost outpost captured in early March, then taken up by the forces of Gaddafi. "There are no longer his soldiers, we control the whole city," said the 22 year old Ahmed Youssef, "we will go to the west, now fight for Sirte," he said recounting the night he had found thirty mercenaries from Niger and Mali.

"I really appreciate the government of Britain and France because thanks to them we managed to win," said Ahmed, "Gaddafi's soldiers did not expect one of our advanced so quickly." Oil. But the real concern remains the center of the Col. oil. The reservoirs are located in regions controlled by rebels in Libya produce from 100 thousand to 130 thousand barrels per day and the opposition claims to export crude oil by "less than a week," said a spokesman for the guerrillas.

"We produce about 100 thousand from 130 thousand barrels a day and we can easily increase this rate up to 300 thousand barrels per day," said Ali Tarhoni, representative of the rebels responsible for economic issues, financial and oil. He then added that it has signed an agreement with Qatar, the emirate by delegating the marketing of crude oil.

The appeal of the Pope silenced weapons, go back to the commitment and diplomatic authorities and citizens give priority to the path of dialogue and reconciliation, said Benedict XVI increasingly nervous about the "tragic news" that develop in him "the trepidation "Especially for the" civilian population "and '" apprehension "at the development of a situation-oriented" use of arms.

" Pope Ratzinger has appealed to diplomacy: "I extend a heartfelt appeal to international organizations and many political leaders and military for the immediate initiation of a dialogue, which suspends the use of arms." Operation 'Unified protector'. And while the United States - which now coordinate the operations of the 'no fly zone' and the air raid -, champing at the bit to loosen their presence, NATO took full command of the mission in Libya.

With the approval of the new plans, the Alliance also assumed command of the operations to protect civilians by troops of Colonel Gaddafi, with a no-fly zone increased (the 'no fly zone plus': more planes in the field, including 5 and the 10 AWACS, 10-15 aircraft, refuel and a dozen hunting), which includes raids on ground targets.

The ambassadors will not in substance - have clarified the sources - the 'control room' policy which will be discussed on Tuesday in London by the foreign ministers of countries, including Arab ones, involved in the operation and that it will be in "contact group" . In this control room, France would rely on "political steering.

Foreign Minister Franco Frattini ruled today that there will be a control room, "let alone two" (France-Gb). The shift in operations under NATO's military and political control has been strongly advocated by Italy, which has expressed great satisfaction with the solution that is nearing completion.

On the political leadership of the operations will be decided at the International Conference to be held in London on Tuesday, and to which, as an observer, will also attend the Holy See. Certainly at the moment is that the draft military plan developed by NATO strictly limit the use of force to protect civilians and populated areas.

The plan for three months without the intervention in support of the rebels, or supply of arms and then, and the Atlantic Alliance "will always remain impartial and not line up", they said diplomatic sources. "The goal is to stop any potential danger to the public, in line with the resolution of the UN Security Council," said one diplomat.

The Italian position. On the diplomatic front, Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said: "We must continue to protect the civilian population, we saw what happened in Misurata, where the population has been hit hard, there are dozens of deaths, even we have allegations that the Gaddafi's troops would put the civilian deaths as false evidence that would be affected by the coalition, which can not and should not do ground operations are absolutely excluded because they would risk hitting civilians.

" Finally, with regard to the statements on the Italy-Germany, Frattini said: "The command does not change anything, we requested and obtained the command of NATO. We must repeat that military operations are a means and not an end, the goal is to ensure Libyan people a future of democracy and freedom, we must promote a cease-fire.

Our ultimate aim is the 'after Gaddafi', to ensure the Libyan population to live without fear of the regime and finally of reprisals. "

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