It has been claimed that it was French fighter jets that successfully helped block ex-Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s 100 vehicle convoy from forcing their escape from his hometown of Sirte Thursday.
“The intervention in Libya will be perceived by the French public as French-led,” Andrew Pierre, former senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, told Bloomberg.
According to a Senior NATO official, ex-dictator Muammar Gaddafi was wounded in an air strike that took place Thursday morning. In the airstrike, a French Mirage Jet and a U.S. predator drone fired weapons, including a Hellfire missile, into Gaddafi's convoy.
“It brings much closer the end of the NATO mission,” Foreign Secretary William Hague announced Thursday evening.
It has been claimed that Gaddafi escaped the air attack with injuries, taking refuge with his body guards in a nearby concrete sewer tunnel located in a drainage ditch, where he was found by the Misrata Military Council.
Ironically, Gaddafi once referred to those uprising against his power as “rats,” yet as rebels joyously highlight, it was Gaddafi in the end who was found hiding in a sewer pleading for mercy.
French Prime Minister said in a statement yesterday that “French aviation was present from the start” in Libya, with French missiles destroying tanks in Benghazi back in March.
The U.S. also played a significant role in blocking Gaddafi’s convoy yesterday. A U.S. predator drone bombed Gaddafi’s fleet before the French mirage jets fired in front of the convoy to block Gaddafi’s escape.
Americans controlled the predator drone via satellite from a Las Vegas base; the drone flew out of Sicily.
According to The Telegraph, critics suggest one primary reason intelligence forces could track Gaddafi, who they have been chasing through the Libyan desert since August, was because they picked up his mobile cell phone signals using voice recognition; Gaddafi has always upheld a strict no cell phone rule, except for the days leading up to his death.
The joint U.S./France accomplishment could prove promising come re-election time; both America’s Barack Obama and France’s Nicholas Sarkozy will be up for re-election in 2012.
Gaddafi, who led Libya for 42 years, remained in hiding since rebel forces seized the capital of Tripoli and only emerged to call upon his loyalists to take back the country from “devils and traitors.”
Although he was ousted from power in late August, Gaddafi loyalists continued to resist the new Libyan government, prolonging an 8 month civil war and halting the country’s political progression.
The media is circulating footage of Libyans celebrating the death of Gaddafi. The dictator’s death signifies the civil war is effectively over, and there is a promising future of the Libyan people.