Libya’s NTC claims capture of Qaddafi after the fall of Sirte

NTC claims capture of Qaddafi after the fall of Sirte Libyan National Transitional Council forces have overtaken Qaddafi’s hometown of Sirte after numerous setbacks and weeks of fierce resistance and have claimed to have captured Muammar al-Qaddafi. However, reports of his capture are not yet confirmed. A senior NTC military official told Reuters, “He’s captured. ...

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NTC claims capture of Qaddafi after the fall of Sirte

Libyan National Transitional Council forces have overtaken Qaddafi's hometown of Sirte after numerous setbacks and weeks of fierce resistance and have claimed to have captured Muammar al-Qaddafi. However, reports of his capture are not yet confirmed. A senior NTC military official told Reuters, "He's captured. He's wounded in both legs...He's been taken away by ambulance." Despite the fall of Libya's capital of Tripoli two months earlier, the NTC insisted they wouldn't declare Libya's liberation until the seizure of Sirte, which had been one of the country's most significant loyalist strongholds. The fall of Sirte came after a TIME interview with Mahmoud Jibril in which Libya's interim leader announced he would resign discussing the difficulty of governing in a "political struggle with no boundaries."

Headlines  

NTC claims capture of Qaddafi after the fall of Sirte

Libyan National Transitional Council forces have overtaken Qaddafi’s hometown of Sirte after numerous setbacks and weeks of fierce resistance and have claimed to have captured Muammar al-Qaddafi. However, reports of his capture are not yet confirmed. A senior NTC military official told Reuters, “He’s captured. He’s wounded in both legs…He’s been taken away by ambulance.” Despite the fall of Libya’s capital of Tripoli two months earlier, the NTC insisted they wouldn’t declare Libya’s liberation until the seizure of Sirte, which had been one of the country’s most significant loyalist strongholds. The fall of Sirte came after a TIME interview with Mahmoud Jibril in which Libya’s interim leader announced he would resign discussing the difficulty of governing in a “political struggle with no boundaries.”

Headlines  

  • The U.N. Palestinian statehood bid should be decided in November, meanwhile negotiations are set to resume October 26 although Prime Minister Fayyad said the time is “not ripe” for talks.
  • Iran disputes U.N. human rights report on declining conditions including torture and executions after the investigator was denied entry into the country.
  • The U.K. suspended it services at its Kuwait embassy after a targeted terrorist threat.
  • A government-organized rally in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad came as the opposition said it might seek foreign intervention to end the regime’s violent crackdown.
  • After last week’s elections, Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman pledged to widen the powers of the Shura Council in response to protests earlier this year. 

Daily Snapshot

Yemeni dissident soldiers protect anti-government protesters as they march in Sanaa, October 20, 2011. The Yemeni opposition called on the United Nations to force President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down unconditionally, rejecting his request for international guarantees (MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images). 

Arguments & Analysis

‘From the West Bank: when brutality enters the mainstream’ (David Shulman, NYRB)

“Mob violence of this order is not entirely new in Israel-similar hysterical right-wing incitement led to the murder of my student Emil Grunzweig at a demonstration in early 1983-but I fear such forces are gaining strength at the very core of Israeli society. So-called “price tag” attacks-when right-wing hooligans perpetrate some act of violence to avenge any act or policy decision that they see as even vaguely hostile to the settlement project-have now spread from the occupied territories, where they are frequent, even normative, to Israel proper, as one can see from the recent arson attack on a mosque in Tuba Zanghariya, in the Galilee. In any case, it is clear that settlers like those who attacked at Anatot, and the many who sympathize with them, are increasingly a threat to the sovereignty of the state and to what’s left of its democratic character. It is one of the singularities of human history that the mob usually requires at least the semblance of a rationale, religious, racist, or ideological, for its hate; and there are those who are always only too happy to supply it. They are not absent in today’s Israel, either, in high public office. I think this is the real meaning of what happened at Anatot. I wish I could say it was a passing aberration.”

‘The real Recep Tayyip Erdogan’ (Morton Abramowitz, The National Interest)

“As many leaders find, it is sometimes difficult to balance “principles” with hard political realities. Erdogan’s biggest contradiction stems from the large Kurdish minority in Turkey. More than any other Turkish leader, he has shown flexibility towards the Kurds. The Democratic Opening, while short on tangible benefits, was significant because it seemed the first serious attempt at a political solution to a problem most popularly viewed in Turkey as a military one. The recent revelation that the government was negotiating with the PKK’s leader is further evidence of a willingness to break from the past. Despite his talk of democracy and liberty abroad, Erdogan has found it difficult to stick to those policies at home. In response to recent deadly PKK attacks, he vowed to push a military solution until the last Kurdish rebel lays down his weapons. That has not worked in the past. Finding a path forward will be difficult, particularly with the uptick in PKK violence, and that will be a consideration in the new civilian constitution the Turkish political parties have begun to draft. Whether it provides the Kurds serious democratic change will be an acid test of Erdogan’s ability to fashion a more open and democratic Turkey.”

‘Egypt’s souring transition’ (Khalil al-Anani, Open Democracy)

“It would be quite wrong to presume, as many commentators and analysts have concluded, that what the recent clashes in Egypt tell us most about is a sectarian or religious conflict between the military and the Egyptian Copts. Rather it uncovers the sense of empowerment and self-inflation of the SCAF in the face of all Egyptians, regardless of their religion or political affiliation. While the religious dimension cannot be ignored in such a pious society, the main message is about the costly nature of Mubarak’s legacy. Those who protested on Sunday bear many of the same grievances as those who rally to Tahrir Square every Friday, calling for civilian rule. They are all victims of the chronic problems inherited from Mubarak’s reign. It would be unrealistic as well as unfair to portray the Egyptian army as a sectarian entity with respect to the Copts. This may be a subtle distinction, between the habit of divide and rule and sectarianism, but a crucial one to understand in the Egyptian context.” 

Latest posts on the Middle East Channel

‘Luxury condo, for sale or for rent’ by Ken Silverstein

‘Bloggingheads: should Obama be doing more on Syria?’ by Bob Wright and Michael Young

‘Putting Tunisian democracy to the test’ by Erik Churchill

<p>Mary Casey-Baker is the editor of Foreign Policy’s Middle East Daily Brief, as well as the assistant director of public affairs at the Project on Middle East Political Science and assistant editor of The Monkey Cage blog for the Washington Post. </p> Twitter: @casey_mary

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