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Libya:Britain washes hands of its soldiers

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Laaska News  Sept. 20,2011


Photo: EPA   

In a statement on Tuesday, the British Foreign Office denied a report by pro-Gaddafi forces that they had captured two UK citizens.

Earlier this week, Muammar Gaddafi’s spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said that a group was captured in Bani Walid consisting of 17 mercenaries, who are technical experts and consultative officers from France, Britain and two Asian countries, including Qatar. A British Foreign Office spokesperson said that “we have no information about whether the report was true”, while French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe claimed that there are “no French mercenaries in Libya.”

It seems that London and Paris have decided to dissociate themselves from their servicemen who were sent to Libya to capture Colonel Gaddafi, our political commentator says. That British special forces launch their operations in Libya is already an  open secret – something that was once again confirmed by the ITV news network, which reported earlier this month that Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS) officers are in Libya to search for Muammar Gaddafi. At the time, the British Ministry of Defense declined to confirm the information, adding that they are not authorized to speak to the press.

This confirms a caveat that SAS are on the ground in Libya to spearhead the hunt for Gaddafi, who is thought to be there given neighboring countries’ reluctance to give sanctuary to the ousted Libyan leader.  It appears that one of NATO’s Libya operation’s most active participants, the British special forces are poised and ready to capture or destroy Muammar Gaddafi, our political commentator says.

Their deployment in Libya raises eyebrows given the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 that only stipulates the creation of the no-fly zone over Libya with the aim of protecting the civilians. The participation of the Apache attack helicopters and special forces in hostilities in Libya is tantamount to a ground operation there, which in turn violates the 1973 Resolution. It seems that London turns a blind eye to the document and uses its own judgment in Libya, our political commentator says.

On the other hand, British authorities are loath to irk the international community, which will certainly condemn London’s riding roughshod over the UN Resolution on Libya. Add to this Britain’s appetite for Libya’s natural resources, including oil, and the Foreign Office’s persistent denial of the mercenary report will be plain to understand.

The situation confirms the “Truth will out” proverb, our commentator concludes, referring to London’s desperate attempts to hush up the scandal.

Laaska News.