France: We Armed Libyan Rebels


Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
France Admits to Arming Libyan Rebels

Published: June 29, 2011

Col. Thierry Burkhard, a spokesman for the French military, said France responded in early June to a United Nations request, made in May, for a humanitarian pause to allow the delivery of essential medical supplies and other relief items to Libyan civilians in the besieged city of Misurata and in the towns and cities of the western mountain region, also under attack from loyalist forces.
The U.N. request never actually took effect, he said. So we airdropped water, food and medical supplies to Misurata and to the Nafusah Mountains south of Tripoli.
During this operation troops also airdropped arms and ammunition several times, including assault rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades and launchers, he said.
The French military assistance was first reported by Le Figaro, which cited unidentified government officials as saying the military assistance was meant to help break the stalemate in Libya. The rebels were under sustained attack from loyalist forces until roughly the period in June that seems to coincide with the weapons drop. In what was seen as something of a mystery, they suddenly turned the tide on the Qaddafi forces and established control over most of the Nafusah Mountains region.
They have continued to gain ground. On Tuesday, the western rebels overran an enormous government weapons depot, though the most valuable arms seemed to have been destroyed or removed before they took control.
Colonel Mahmoud Mosbah, the head of the military council in the western town of Rogeban, acknowledged that weapons were dropped by parachute near his town over a three-day period earlier this month. The drops, all at night and totaling perhaps 36 tons, included mostly light weapons and ammunition, he said. He complained that rebels from the neighboring city of Zintan had taken all the weapons, and were not sharing them with fighters in other areas.
The information I have is that the arms were for all the Nafusah Mountains, he said in an interview at a local college, where he and other military leaders announced the defections of dozens of former Qaddafi army officers. The colonel said an intermediary told him on Wednesday that the French government was upset that the weapons were not being properly distributed.
His claims about the Zintan rebels could not be immediately confirmed, He added that his fighters had received some new weapons including shipments of Belgian rifles from the United Arab Emirates and the rebel Transitional National Council in Benghazi.
On Wednesday, fighters from the mountain towns clashed with Qaddafi forces near the town of Bir el-Ghanim, which has been the scene of fierce skirmishes in recent days. The rebels are hoping that victory there will open the road to the outskirts of the capital, Tripoli.
On Wednesday morning, rebel fighters at a checkpoint about 15 miles from the town said that NATO warplanes had struck Qaddafi positions, and later in the afternoon rebels could be heard on a radio requesting trucks with heavy weapons, apparently trying to coordinate a fresh assault.
France, like the United States and Britain, is wary of the political and financial cost of an extended Libyan campaign and is eager for a decisive blow to bring down the Qadaffi government. After a burst of activity early in the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi, rebel military units in eastern Libya have bogged down in a grinding stalemate with the loyalists, and attention has turned to the western mountain region, where the rebels would seem to have a better chance of breaking through to Tripoli.
Colonel Burkhard declined to comment on the strategic implications of the assistance, saying that France was simply protecting civilians from harm, as mandated by the Security Council resolution authorizing the intervention.
The civilian population was in a critical humanitarian situation and was threatened by the pro-Qaddafi forces, he said.
NATO officials in Brussels did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
David Jolly reported from Paris and Kareem Fahim from Rogeban, Libya. Maa de la Baume contributed reporting from Paris.


Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
People who belive in money are Stupid not only Libyan foolish rebels they were being used by the West and as well as in Pakistan Zardari group May be Pakistani call them stupid.


Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
This man Gadafi has acknowledged that Africa needs more rights. Lybia was only single country in Africa with good economy or a single muslim country. Gadafi wanted to make a united Africa with their own currency that is what which is against both UK and France's interests.

It is interests war. UK and France both are playing a criminal act, which their comming generations will pay for.
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Minister (2k+ posts)
all muslim world (elite particularly) is corrupt & friends of west/usa.west & states got a powerful media & they use it very effectively.they plan & do the things purposely.america supported saddam,hasni mubarik,bashar asad,shaikh saleh,musharaf & many more dictators.they used them & when they did not need them they still used for another purpose like saddam.america was upset when uk released almaghrahi last now finding some reason to finish league is working/acting like an agency of west.its stupid n useless organisation.
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