Libya: Rebel Fighters Being Coached By UK Military

British move comes as Tripoli says it has accepted a peace initiative put forward by Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez


Rebel fighters in eastern Libya are to receive advice from British experts. Photograph: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

Britain is to send experts able to give military advice into east Libya to make contact with opposition leaders, as the struggle for control escalates.

The move is a clear intervention on the ground to bolster the anti-Gaddafi uprising, learn more about its leadership, and see what logistical support it needs. Whitehall sources said the diplomatic taskforce would not give arms to the rebels, as there is an international arms embargo.

It came as Libya’s deputy foreign minister, Khaled Kaim, said that Tripoli had accepted a peace initiative put forward by Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez, which was heavily criticised by the White House. Kaim said it stated that a committee would be formed by African, Asian and Latin American countries “to help the international dialogue and to help the restoration of peace and stability”.

Interpol issued a global alert against Muammar Gaddafi and 15 other Libyans, including his daughter and seven sons, in an effort to enforce sanctions.

David Cameron has been determined to back the resistance, partly because, following advice this week by experts and Libyans in the UK, he believes it is neither simply tribal nor Islamist, but built round democratic demands that could, in the medium term, mark a decline in the Middle East’s anti-western mood. The foreign secretary, William Hague, has been in telephone contact with General Abdul Fattah Younis Obaidi, the former interior minister, now based in Benghazi, seen as a likely successor to Gaddafi. He was placed in charge of military defences in the city in a sign he is at the helm of the opposition.

British officials know the identity of all the members of the broad-based Benghazi committee focused on keeping essential services and defences going.

As the situation regarding international involvement developed rapidly , Nato commanders were instructed to draw up plans for military options, including a no-fly zone. Cameron had earlier faced criticism, including from the Pentagon, for raising the idea of a Nato no-fly zone.

The UK government believes the national council in Benghazi is focused on keeping essential services running, but where it can is “now thinking about how they can take the struggle forward to other parts of the country. They are not yet calling themselves a government in waiting, and we have not yet seen a coherent programme,” one source said. The UK taskforce is to assess humanitarian need and keep the opposition leaders in the east better informed about diplomatic activity. The national council is focused most on what it can do to help the isolated rebel towns close to Tripoli.

British diplomats quit Libya last week as fighting escalated. They remain unable to access the largely pro-Gaddafi west of Libya, from which all aid agencies, including the Red Cross, have been barred.

Meanwhile the international development minister Alan Duncan warned the price of crude oil could hit $250 a barrel due to the unrest in the Middle East. That would send the UK price of a litre of petrol to more than £2, he tells the Times.

Ambassadors representing the 28 Nato countries instructed military commanders to plan for what an alliance spokesperson described as “all eventualities”. However, the spokesman said no “operational steps” had been taken and the UN security council had not authorised the use of force.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Nato’s secretary general, has made it clear that, in his view, a no-fly zone would require a specific UN resolution. The decision to draw up contingency plans was not officially announced, because of the sensitivity surrounding an issue on which the alliance is far from united.

The decision to task Nato commanders with contingency planning was taken despite serious reservations expressed by Robert Gates, shared by British military chiefs. “Let’s just call a spade a spade. A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defences … and then you can fly planes around the country and not worry about our guys being shot down,” Gates said earlier this week. However, President Barak Obama subsequently said he was placing US military assets near Libya to ensure he had the “full capacity to act” if the situation deteriorated further.

But the government has placed on alert air, sea and ground forces that could quickly intervene in the conflict if ordered to do so.

Typhoon jets would be deployed to RAF Akrotiri in one of the two sovereign base areas in Cyprus, while 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland – the Black Watch – is on 24 hours’ notice to help in evacuation and humanitarian operations, defence officials said.

An RAF airborne radar and early warning aircraft is based in Malta where the MoD has also set up a forward joint task force headquarters. Officials declined to say what intelligence they had gathered on the quality and number of pro-Gaddafi aircraft and armour.

Meanwhile, a ship understood to contain £100m worth of Libyan dinars has been seized and escorted into Harwich docks in Essex by the UK Border Agency boat Vigilant, the Home Office said. It returned after failing to dock at Tripoli. She was tracked by British authorities and intercepted off the coast. The chancellor, George Osborne, froze Gaddafi’s £900m of UK-based assets last Sunday.

Patrick Wintour and Richard Norton-Taylor
Friday 4 March 2011 22.58 GMT

Source: The Guardian

1 thought on “Libya: Rebel Fighters Being Coached By UK Military

  1. Kinetic Lies and deception in Libya.

    Lets look at the propaganda smear campaign being waged against Libya and it’s leaders and ask if the media is telling even half the truth and if our leaders have become predictable liars and are taking us all for fools.

    So OK it’s not a war when you drop bombs and deliberately try to assassinate a world leader or supply weapons to ex Al-CIAda rebels on the ground so that they can march into major cities with these guns the French have given our friendly rebels who will kill anyone who shows support to a leader that has turned a dead end country into one that has the best hospitals and universities on the African continent.

    This war that started out as a no fly zone that is still not a war because Obama pulled the word ‘Kinetic’ from his a$$ and has a blank cheque from the UN’s resolution 1973 that says ‘All necessary means to defend civilians’ must be the biggest scam going.
    I would like such words in a contract that allowed me to investigate and prosecute international bankers around the world for the fraud they have committed that includes the term ‘All necessary means to prosecute bankers/fraudster and acts of treason’ but I don’t think I will get one.

    This is not an NATO action because only three of it’s members are taking part in the daily attacks on a sovereign state and some are calling for an immediate cease fire but clearly our leaders are playing with words and for this reason Congress did not approve Obama’s new war on terror (yes we hear it every day, Muslims under my bed) but Congress still approved funding for the war, Sorry ‘Kinetic Military Action’ which not only goes to show how useless they are but also shows little respect for the American public when 80% are apposed to the war.

    Looking at the Arab spring uprising we can see that all the protests started in the major cities and yet in Libya we are to believe farm peasants out in the middle of no where eventually found the courage to rise up in the desert to attack Libyan forces and the ninety nine percent of people in Tripoli who hated Gaddffi’s guts stayed at home.

    Quite to the contrary Colonel Gaddffi has a lot of support from the people of Libya and not just from his own tribal clan and apart from pro Gaddffi demonstrations around the world, (not reported in the news) we also have growing support from the people of Libya who are tired of these bombs of love that NATO keeps dropping and sure we have defectors that joined the rebels but what you won’t learn from the news is that some rebels have defected back over to government side.

    The real reason we had peasants rising up from the outskirts of the country was because CIA/MOSSAD agents could operate in these areas by handing out free money , guns, propaganda and then flee back across the borders of neighbouring countries when challenged by Libyan forces but still they managed to present to us on main stream news channels a groups of rebels playing chicken with troops in the middle of desert night after night, same pickup trucks, same guns, same faces just like you would expect from a low budget film made in China.

    Gaddafi did not play the United Nations part in this play script where he was supposed to surrender to the first group of rag tag rebels and offer them his country that he had spent a life time building to become the most open and affluent place in Africa complete with hospitals to shame many in Europe and Universities where students didn’t need to pay a fortune to gain an education.

    Libya has several tribal factions and it would to stupid to suggest all were treated equally by the government but Gaddffi did manage to hold the tribes together and that often involved brutal suppression of opposing forces but if you look towards the UK then most people from Scotland will tell you that people in London always received a bigger slice of the cake and look how many people the British have killed in Ireland who only wanted their own land back.

    Russia and China both abstained from voting on resolution 1973 and now say they have been mislead by the UN and would had used veto powers had they known how far the resolution was going to be extended, twisted, exaggerated and this is why they used veto powers when next asked about dealing with Syria so you can see these two have not been fooled and nor has the African Union who have repeatedly tried to broker a peace deal only to be turned down by Mrs Clinton and here chums who want the gas and oil and needed to stop Gaddffi creating a gold backed currency and therefore allowing people to opt out of the western corrupt banking system that pays 0.5% less tax for looking after peoples savings despite most of these banks being on the verge of bankruptcy.

    The puppets in the USA want a return of boom and bust so the elite can milk the public dry and world war two ended the great depression in the 1930’s and these puppets think they can make it a double hat trick without realising the world has changed and Britannia no longer rules the waves.

    The UK says it is only targeting military installations, the UK claims to have carried out thousands of sorties bombing Libya from 50,000 feet only killing the odd civilian on the ground and all at a cost of a mere £260 million pounds, the UK lies when a single stealth bomber cost as much as $2 billion each.

    Most of what has been written above can be verified but lets move on to the fog of war or what I would call outright lies and propaganda and lets look at these allegations of Viagra, Rape, Murder, Genocide and skip over claims that Gaddffi eats children for breakfast or kills any woman that won’t sleep with him.

    The English would know all about drugs and war or did you think the opium war with China was about keeping drugs out of the UK and going back to Vietnam we can see the Americans were using large quantities of drugs but more recently we have the ten year Afghanistan war on drugs and yet the drugs now being exported out from Afghanistan has increased by a factor of four since the Taliban was kicked out and apart from that we now have solders becoming drug barons.

    Nope if you want to know about drugs and war then may I suggest that the best person to ask is Oliver North.
    I’m quite sure Rape is being committed by both sides in this CIA induced war but that does not mean the orders have come from the top and yet all we get on the TV is stories of one side committing rape but ask yourself would rebels not be more incline to commit rape when they are foreign mercenaries or would disciplined army troops do this to their own people.

    Murder is not something that happens when two groups of people are taking pot shots at each other or an paid agent is captured and it’s a fair bet to say that scores are being settled on both sides to some extent but dropping bombs on civilians from 50,000 feet is Murder especially when you consider that according to Obama this is not a war.

    Genocide well that’s a good one when you look at what happened to American Indians and the US Support for Israel in stealing more and more land and then shooting anyone who wants their land back or supporting a country that bans humanitarian aid to the Gaza strip but looking back at Libya the only acts of Genocide being committed and again not reported by the main stream press is the deliberate act by the rebels to execute and remove all the blacks in Libya.

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