Who are the Libyan Rebels?

Libyan rebellions

Libyan rebels armed and ready to fight Gadaffi forces

The Age newspaper reports that Sayf al-Arab Gadaffi, Muammar Gadaffi’s son, has been killed in a recent NATO airstrike.

Sayf al-Arab Gaddafi, embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s youngest son, and three of his grandchildren have been killed in an airstrike, a government spokesman says.

“The house of Mr Sayf al-Arab Muammar Gaddafi … who is the youngest of the leader’s children, was attacked tonight with full power. The leader with his wife was there in the house with other friends and relatives,” Moussa Ibrahim told a news conference in Tripoli early this morning.


NATO has claimed that it is not directly targeting anyone in the Gadaffi family, including Colonel Gadaffi himself. NATO and the coalition’s role in the Libyan civil war is to defend Libyan civilians from human rights violations and ensure they have access to emergency supplies. According to Yahoo:

The coalition mission doesn’t include protecting forces engaged in combat against Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi’s forces, Gen. Carter Ham, the commander of U.S. Africa Command, told reporters Monday. His mission, Ham said, is narrowly confined to preventing Gadhafi forces from attacking civilians, getting Gadhafi’s forces to pull back from rebel-held towns, and allowing civilians humanitarian access to food, water, and electricity/gas supplies, Ham said.

Nevertheless, the Coalition and the Libyan rebellion are allied in attacking Gadaffi, but what do we know about the Libyan rebellion?

One view has it that the Libyan rebels are basically peaceful protesters who found their demonstrations against Gadhafi met with bullets and had no choice but to resort to violence…

Still, the rebels are largely unknown to the American government, despite initial tentative meetings such as Clinton’s and some meetings held by U.S. Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz with opposition representatives. (Cretz is now working out of the State Department, as the United States has withdrawn its diplomatic presence.) Last week, President Barack Obama appointed an American diplomat, Chris Stevens, to be the U.S. liaison to the Libyan opposition.

“We don’t have the comfort level with the rebels,” said the National Security Network’s Joel Rubin, a former State Department official. “We certainly know some things about them, had meetings. It’s not as if there’s complete blindness. But I don’t think at this stage the comfort level is there for that kind of close coordination.”

The Asian Tribune reports on a 2007 US military document that may link elements of the Libyan opposition to the insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan

the U.S. West Point Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center document reveals that Libya sent more fighters to Iraq’s Islamic militancy on a per-capita basis than any other Muslim country, including Saudi Arabia.

Perhaps more alarmingly for Western policymakers, most of the fighters came from eastern Libya, the center of the current uprising against Muammar el-Qaddafi…

The West Point report said “Both Darnah and Benghazi have long been associated with Islamic militancy in Libya.

There can be no doubt the Gadaffi regime is corrupt and horrendously damaging to the Libyan people. It is also important to note that the Libyan opposition draws supporters from a great many different sources; from disgruntled protesters, to former members of the military, judiciary and Libyan government. It is entirely possible however, that the battle hardened, combat ready elements of this rebellion are veterans that have fought coalition troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This would not be the first revolution to be hijacked by religious extremists. The ousting of the Shah of Iran in 1979 was initially a political revolution, but with the removal of the Shah came a new Islamic fundamentalist government under Sharia law.

For all his faults, Gadaffi has at least renounced terrorism and remains vehemently opposed to al-Qaeda and Islamic terrorism. It is impossible to say if the ousting of Gadaffi would be a good thing without knowing first who will take his place. The coalition does not have a clear understanding of who the Libyan opposition are, what they stand for or how they will function once Gadaffi is removed.  Without this fundamental and basic understanding, it’s likely that all the coalition is doing is destablising an already troubled region.

Read More:

Gaddafi’s son killed in airstrike: Libya -The Age

Who are the Libyan rebels? U.S. tries to figure out – Yahoo

Who are the Libyan rebels? Part 2 – Yahoo

Libyan rebellion has radical Islamist fervor: Benghazi link to Islamic militancy:U.S. Military Document Reveals -Asian Tribune



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Categories: Beliefs, Morals, Events, Multiculturalism, Politics, Law

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