Qaddafi’s Son Khamis Reported Killed in NATO Strike
Libya’s rebel forces announced on Friday that one of Qaddafi’s sons, Khamis, has been killed in the military camp at Zlitan along with other 32 soldiers during a surprise attack of the NATO aviation. The rebel spokesman said that spies among Qaddafi’s ranks confirmed that the dictator’s son was killed. The NATO leaders have not commented on the news.
Khamis is the head of the 32d Brigade, a feared military unit operating on the route between Misratah and Tripoli, and rumors about his death have been spread in March for the first time, when it was said that Khamis had been killed in a raid on Tripoli.
The rumors have been dismissed immediately by the leadership of the country, though the uncertainty still lingered for a while about the fate of the presidential son.
Libya’s civil war continues at slow pace, with continues shifts of the situation in the field, as a sure outcome cannot be ascertained in the foreseeable future.
The regime’s leader, Muammar al Qaddafi, refuses to step down and to go into exile in spite of the efforts made by the international community to convince his somehow to do so.
Thus, a few weeks ago, the French foreign minister Alain Juppe had announced that France had negotiated a stand down of the president and even the prospect of allowing him to stay in Libya as simple citizen.
The agreement however never took effect, because it would be impossible for the leader of the Jamahiria to continue to live in Libya stripped of all power, considering what he has done to his people over four decades.
On the other hand, it would also be impossible for him to leave the country, considering that the international community has already issued an arrest warrant in his name for the same crimes, and he would be apprehended as soon as he stepped out of the country.
For that reason, Qaddafi’s decision to stay seems like the only chance he has got at the time being. With the European and American allies of the rebel forces in Benghazi deciding not to send any invasion forces in the region, he could get a good chance to even win the war against the rebels, though the prospect of winning seems remote right now, as seems the idea of remaining in power even if he wins, after his regime has been declared illegitimate by the Contact Group on Libya, at its meeting in Istanbul two weeks ago.
Even if he doesn’t win, he can at least prolong this state of affairs for as much more as possible. After all, he has been unshakable for five months.
Earlier in the week the British Foreign Office notified Qaddafi’s ambassador to pick up his stuff and leave, and demanded the Transitional National Council in Benghazi, recognized at the Contact Group on Libya as the only authority in Libya, to send their own envoys.
The foreign office also announced that some of the assets pertaining to the regime will be unfrozen and delivered to the TNC as supplies for their fight. Other members of the contact group have done the same.
Meanwhile, there are reports that another high profile son of Qaddafi, Seif al Islam, has negotiated a peace with the Islamist rebels in Libya, and by this peace they agreed to chase out the “secular opposition” to the regime.
“Libya will look like Saudi Arabia, like Iran,” said Seif al Islam, who appeared in the interview holding prayer beads and with a grown beard, which makes him a little bit different from the Western-dressed regime’s face that used to talk to the press.
He said he had negotiated with Ali Sallabi, leader of Islamic opposition in the east. Sallabi acknowledged that they had talked but denied the idea that his rebels switched sides.
Qaddafi has long maintained that the unrest in Libya was organized by the al-Qaeda, who want to get ahold of the oil-rich north African country. He portraited himself in front of the Western countries as a fighter against al-Qaeda terrorist and the Islamist threat.
The Islamists fighting in Libya are not an important force, and they are not capable to change the odds of the conflict.11