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Monday, February 21, 2011

Newlinks: February 21

Libyan Ambassador to the US refuses to resign, claiming his work is for the people of Libya. This is a bold move for a foreign diplomat who is in a country his government has little to no relationship with.

Reports are now confirmed by Aljazeera that Libyan fighter jets are bombong and strafing Libya's third largest city Misurata.

Report from Tripoli, Libya - "As a group of protesters and the police faced off, 10 or so Toyota pickup trucks carrying more than 20 men — many of them apparently from other African countries in mismatched fatigues — arrived at the scene and started firing at protesters with small semiautomatic weapons. 'It was an obscene amount of gunfire,' the witness reportedly said. 'They were strafing these people. People were running in every direction.'” - Global Post Dispatch (click to read entire story).

3PM EST, 10PM Local Time: Reports are that the Libyan military has been ordered to begin bombing Tripoli and Benghazi around midnight. These reports are bolstered by earlier reports that the two Libyan fighter pilots who defected to Malta have disclosed their orders to Maltese authorities.

Click for the only real-time reporting I have found from Libya. WARNING: Some content very graphic.

List of Libyan diplomats who have resigned as a result of the Gaddafi regime's bloody response to protesters: UN, UK, Indonesia, Sweden, India, Poland, China. All land lines and Internet cut in Libya, but diplomatic resignations speak volumes about was is happening there.

Libyan envoy to India has confirmed that Libyan air force was ordered to put down the protesters by firing live ammunition and bombing.

Malta has confirmed that the two Libyan fighter jets were piloted by Libyan officers who refused to follow orders to shoot to kill Libyan protesters. Both are now seeking asylum. Libyan regime has begun to circulate rumors that the Italian air force is actually firing on protesters, not Libya. NOTE: Italy was colonial power in Libya.

Receiving unconfirmed information that Libyan Air Force fighter jets and helicopters are firing on protesters in Tripoli and Benghazi. This may also be a possible explanation for the unplanned arrival of two Libyan fighter jets in Malta a few hours ago. It may be possible, although still completely unconfirmed that the pilots were defecting in order to avoid firing on citizens.

Live updates on Libya from Aljazeera.Two fighter jets and two civilian helicopters have just landed on the island of Malta. None of the passengers were carrying passports. Could be the beginning of a mass exodus or a planned airlift.

"We are not Egypt, we are not Tunisia, we have weapons and we will use them...Rivers of blood will run through Libya." His words reported here and the words I heard his translator use are slightly different. The translator's words were decidedly more ominous. - Link from Herald Sun, Australia.

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