By Michel Chossudovsky and Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
The death of General Abdel Fattah Al-Younes, Commander in Chief of Rebel Forces was announced on July 28. Younes was Colonel Qaddafi’s former interior minister who defected to the rebels. Younes was also key leader of the Transitional Council based in Benghazi.
His death has created a vacuum in the military command structure, which will inevitably contribute in the short-run to weakening the military capabilities of the insurgency. It will also have repercussions on the timing of NATO operations.
Even within rebel circles there are claims that Al-Younes was killed “because he was a traitor”.
The official release of the Transitional Council states that General Al-Younes and two top military commanders aides were killed by gunmen.on Thursday July 28.
Secret Negotiations with Tripoli?
Al-Younes may have been attempting to return to Tripoli. There have also been reports regarding secret negotiations between Transitional Council members and the Libyan government. A faction within the Transitional Council may have been searching for a negotiated solution with Tripoli.
Barely two weeks earlier, top level talks were held in Brussels (Wednesday, July 13) between a Transitional National Council delegation and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The delegation also met with the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s governing body. Fogh Rasmussen confirmed that “NATO would continue its bombing campaign in Libya as long as Gadhafi’s forces threaten civilians”. “As long as that threat continues, we must continue to deal with it,”
While in Brussels, rebel NTC leader Mustafa Abdel Jabril categorically denied the holding of talks with Tripoli: “All this talk about negotiations taking place between the regime and the National Transitional Council are totally false claims,” The Associated Press: Rebels deny talks with Gadhafi, July 13, 2011)
Divisions within the Transitional Council and the Military
The death of Al-Younes has resulted in internal fighting within the Transitional Council. The leadership of Mustafa Abdel Jibril is being questioned, particularly by members of Al-Younes’ Obeide tribe. Jibril had been seeking a surge in NATO’s bombing campaign in support of “a military advance” on Tripoli by rebel forces.
Following the death of General Younes and two top military commanders, rebel forces are in disarray. Factional divisions are developing within rebel forces.
The CIA Connection
There have also been accusations that Younes was assassinated by a rival faction of the insurgency headed by military commander Khalifa Hifter, who is known to be a CIA asset:
Commander Khalifa Hifter tends to support the Islamic faction of the rebellion which is integrated by members of the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).
Supporting the Libyan Jihad
The Jihadists, covertly supported by Western intelligence are now on the front lines of the insurgency:
The US-NATO coalition is arming the Jihadists. Weapons are being channelled to the LIFG from Saudi Arabia, which historically, since the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war, has covertly supported Al Qaeda. The Saudis are now providing the rebels, in liaison with Washington and Brussels, with anti-tank rockets and ground-to-air missiles. (See Michel Chossudovsky, “Our Man in Tripoli”: US-NATO Sponsored Islamic Terrorists Integrate Libya’s Pro-Democracy Opposition, April 3, 2011)
The Kosovo Model
What is unfolding in Libya is the “Kosovo Model”. The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was integrated by Islamic brigades affiliated to Al Qaeda, not to mention its links to organized crime. The KLA was supported covertly by the CIA, German intelligence (BND) and Britain’s MI6.
The “War on Terrorism” Supports “The War on Terrorism”