Sunday, May 1, 2011

NATO And Coalition Embassies In Tripoli Destroyed By Mobs

Our embassy offices in Tripoli admittedly weren't much, but now, in the aftermath of yesterday's NATO strike on a house in a Qaddafi family compound, they have been sacked and burned along with those of the UK, France, Italy and Qatar.

CNN reports from Benghazi:

Government forces pounded rebel-held cities and crowds ransacked empty embassies in Tripoli on Sunday after Libyan authorities reported a NATO airstrike killed one of longtime strongman Moammar Gadhafi's sons and three of his grandchildren.

The U.S. Embassy was attacked by what one U.S. official called an "organized mob," along with the British, French, Italian and Qatari embassies, British and Italian officials told CNN. Meanwhile, pro-Gadhafi forces stepped up their shelling of rebel positions in Benghazi and Misrata after Libya's government reported the deaths.

The "organized mob" - what an oxymoronic term - was, of course, sponsored and directed by the Libyan state. All the embassies attacked had been vacated except for some local employees and guards, and there are no reports that any of them were harmed.

NATO has not said what country the attack aircraft belonged to, or what type of aircraft were being used. But Libyan officials attacked the U.S. Embassy compound in Tripoli, as well as the British, French and Italian missions, according to a senior U.S. official in Washington.

All four NATO nations are taking part in the airstrikes. Italian officials told CNN that the embassy of Qatar, a Gulf Arab state that supports the campaign and is supplying arms to the rebels, was also targeted.

The U.S. official said Turkey, the protecting power for U.S. interests in Libya, is trying to keep an eye on the American compound -- but "there isn't much they can do when you have an organized mob, as this appeared to be."

In London, British Foreign Secretary William Hague expelled Libya's ambassador to the United Kingdom after the attacks. Hague said the Tripoli government has breaching its international obligation to protect diplomatic missions by allowing the vandalism.

"The attacks against diplomatic missions will not weaken our resolve to protect the civilian population in Libya," Hague said.

I haven't seen any good first-hand reports yet, except for a tweet from the Sky News reporter in Tripoli, Mark Stone:

Just returned from brief trip to the Brit Embassy in Tripoli. Totally burnt out. WW2 memorial smashed on the ground. Burnt out cars. Looted.

He says there will be pictures up on Sky News shortly.


Briefly noted: NATO spokesmen have said that four munitions were dropped on the house / command bunker, and from the below photo it looks like one of them failed to detonate.

I think that unexploded ordinance is a BLU-109 "bunker buster" hard-target warhead, which has a delayed-action fuse and 550 pounds of high explosive.

NATO obviously believed that it was striking a hardened, high-value, target.

1 comment:

prasad said...

Really what a bad news for Gadhafy if he compromise with the protesters and with NATO forces this couldn't happened so past is past now Mr. Gadhafi surrender himself and his government leaders to their forces and give the power to the people of Libya this is only solution for this problem.