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The End of Gaddafi? An Optimistically Open Thread [Updates]

[Update 5: 0830 GMT Aug 23]

In the quietest hours of the night Saif Gaddafi was surprisingly found touring the streets street of Tripoli between his father’s bunker and the hotel next door in the company of foreign human shields journalists.

“Everything is excellent.”

Perhaps he needs a map of his country:

Open Evolving Thread, editors feel free to update.  

[Update 4: 0100GMT Aug 22]  Apparently so.

[Update 3: 17:30GMT Aug 21] A good source for updates can be found here

Sunday, Aug/21/11, 04:02 PM (UTC/GMT)

Confirmed by AP: revolutionary fighters in Tripoli take control of the base for the Khamis Brigade, 16 miles west of the capital. This is the most important victory in and probably puts the rebels within hours of complete surrender of the Gaddafi regime.

The Khamis brigade is the most well trained militia in Libya, let by Khamis Gaddafi, one of Muammar Gaddafi’s son. The role of the Khamis Brigade is solemnly to protect the Gaddafi family. The fall of their stronghold will certainly encourage more defections. Just a week ago, the prospect of the Khamis Military base in rebel’s hands was unthinkable.

[Update 2: 1700GMT] “Internet Restored Briefly as Rebels Close in on Tripoli, By John Ribeiro, IDG News”

Local Internet access in Tripoli was strangely restored for a while late Saturday local time after months of disruption, according to reports on Twitter, as rebels closed in on the capital city of Libya. But it was down again for most of the city by Sunday.

Renesys speculated that the “brief Tripoli Internet flicker” was the sign of a conflict within the local phone company itself, with someone struggling to reactivate service at the neighborhood level, only to have it switched off again at the national level.

[Update 1: 0545 GMT Aug 21]

Reuters

Fighting was still raging after midnight around Mitiga airbase in Tripoli’s Tajourah district, an area said to be under rebel control, an opposition activist told a Reuters journalist outside Libya.

The gun battles left a number of rebels dead in the suburb of Qadah and elsewhere, along with at least three pro-Qadhafi soldiers in the Zawiyat al-Dahmania district of Tripoli, he said.

A Tripoli resident told Reuters that Muslim clerics in parts of Tripoli had called on people to rise up, using the loudspeakers on minarets. The resident said the call went out around the time people were breaking their Ramadan fast.

“We can hear shooting in different places,” one resident said. “Most of the regions of the city have gone out, mostly young people … it’s the uprising… They went out after breaking the (Ramadan) fast.”

[Original diary text] Zlitan, on the road to Tripoli past Misrata, is in the hands of the Libyan Transitional Council and rumors have Gaddafi fleeing Tripoli.

Is this the end?


122 comments

  1. anna shane

    it’s got to be close, rumors that he’s fled and taken his parasol with him, he’s such an embarrassment to the Libyans, on top of being ruthless and over involved in everyone’s life.

    In the old days, when he rode around in his convertible with all the babes, and he was such a handsome world leader, I actually admired him.  Some think he’s on drugs, he can’t stop talking about drugs, and that is a sign.  

    But this thing he has with Viagra, what could that possibly mean?  Like, a metaphor or a real erectile dysfunction medicine???

    Has anyone watched that four-part series Carlos?  Talk about times have changed?  

  2. HappyinVT

    legitimate government.

    I’ve seen tweets that Gaddafi has gone to Venezuela but I believe that story was from months ago.  Also read that Saif al Islam is in Tunisia ~ accounts differ as to details so I’m not sure what’s going on there.

    Trying not to get hopes up ~ we’ve been here before with respect to thinking this was almost over.  My guess is that this may drag on for days.  Then who knows what happens.

  3. By way of Al Jazeera Liveblog:

    55 min 23 sec ago – Libya

    BBC correspondent Matthew Price is up now in Tripoli, where it’s just after 8am. The fighting in the capital is apparently continuing:
    matthewwprice

    #Libya Waking up to loud explosions and gunfire in #Tripoli Can’t see from here much of the skyline. Will try to get better view.

    Sun Aug 21 06:11:47 +0000 2011

  4. Happy’s interactive map is mostly icons, but red exclamation mark triangles have begun to appear (at least one):

    Sky’s Alex Crawford reports Libyan rebels have taken town of Mayah as they continue advance on Tripoli – 5 hours ago

    That puts them about 30km to Bab Akkarah, Gaddafi’s HQ.  

    Tripoli_Latest Ahmed Shreef

    Note – In the west, Maya is regimes last #Tripoli defence. After Maya is Janzour. Janzour IS Tripoli and is full of waiting FF. #MermaidDawn

    Janzour is a 13km walk to Bab Akkarah.

    The red flame icons seem to map to the parts of the city that are arguably now outside of Gaddafi control. These include:

    Mitiga International Airport/Airbase on the east side of Tripoli is part of a neighborhood said to be under rebel control. Not clear at the moment whether the airbase itself is secured.

    Mansuora, part of West Tripoli no more than a mile from Bab Akkarah, is reported to be in the hands of the rebels. Gaddafi tanks were reportedly shelling the neighborhood three hours ago:

    #Gaddafi tanks are now entering streets in #Mansoura & shelling heavily

    hmmm…

    carolv27 Carol Viana

    New update, confirmed by AP, Khamis brigade taken, I give Gaddafi regime hours at most goo.gl/gbIHg #MermaidDawn #ohyeah

    22 minutes ago

  5. I am here with you in Tripoli

    Until the last drop of our blood we will be defending Tripoli.

    We will achieve the victory, we will achieve the victory

    They destroy our country

    you need to go with all strength, quickly and with all strength”

    Then break to some keyboard mall music.

    Seemed very short for a Gaddafi rant, don’t know if it was going on longer. His voice sounded more stressed than his usual drugged mumble.

  6. The loyalist forces appear to have been surprised by the sudden thrust for Tripoli after the rebel gains of the last week. The government forces probably expected the rebels to consolidate their gains before making any further pushes towards the capital. I don’t see how Gaddafi can hold on for much longer. It’s a matter of days, if not hours.

  7. Clicking on the double flame/newsreel icons for the Rixos Hotel (and the flame there is new):

    Gunfire near Rixos, Sunday 1730 BST

    Updated 2 hours ago

    @mchancecnn Matthew Chance

    Most Govt Officials evacuate Rixos Hotel. #CNN #Tripoli #Libya

  8. HappyinVT

    I believe there were reports months ago that Khamis himself had been killed.  Just read at AJE’s live blog that the rebels met no resistance as they pushed into Tripoli from the west.  Either loyalist troops are gathering for a last stand or they are drifting away.  Or they are otherwise occupied.  

  9. Silver_100 Silver Merali

    Unconfirmed sources stating that #Gaddafi has been captured, no News Channel yet to confirm this though @ASE @AJStream #Rixos #MermaidDawn

    3 minutes ago

  10. HappyinVT

    as they enter Tripoli from west.  May be at Green Square although I’m having trouble confirming.  Even if true may not mean this is over.  The loyalists are somewhere.

  11. peraltenberg Per Altenberg

    Must be unique in our age that one single TV channel – Sky News – gets exclusive live coverage of an historical event. #tripoli #mermaiddawn

    5 minutes ago

  12. sigh

    I’m going to be live, huh?

    [sidetalk in arabic]

    still waiting, look down at the podium. arranging papers…

    are we on?

    Good evening everyone, again I wm with you  here, live on many chanles to expose what is happening and to hold hte wolrld responsivle and to witness the crimes commiteed agianst Libyans. NAto has intensified attacks against tripoli, giveing suport to revbels to advance into this peaceful  city and the deathtoll isunimaginable. last night the deeath toll was 367 and more than 900 injured.

    today I have confirmation from the libyan ministry of health that from noon and what it is it now it is 11:15 local time, almost all hours of violence, over 1200 people killed in Tripoli alone. The hospitals cannot handle it

    We are saying to the world that people lived here peacefully for a long time and now it has been turned into a hellfire. NATO is attacking the heart of a peaceful civilian city. It is attacking an army that has taken a peaceful defensive positions. It is attacking volunteers who come out of their homes to protect there city.

    And NATO is ginv cover to people who … only want to destroy the tribes, the children the neighborhoods of those who love Mommar Gaddafi.

    We expect the deathtoll to rise beyond anyone’s imagination. it is really a dramatic, a true tragic event… These armed gangs would not be able to advance a meter if faced by our armies and our tribes and our volunteers, but because NATO kills anything that moves before there rebels.

    We appeal to the world, to the heart of this world, our people are killed without any [where to go]…

    Who has the right to take agendas outside the peace talk, to say ‘you cannot discuss this’. we said we accepted the African Roadmap…

    But no-one wants to listen, because all NATO cares about is to destroy this Libyan people so it can have one that fulfills it’s own desires, not the Libyan peoples…

    1,300. Dead. Since twelve midday. IT’s 11 hours, not even 12 hours. 5,000 injured.  The redcross is here, hopefully they can help us, but the situation is difficult.

    “We still have thousands and thousands of fighters that have nowhere to go, so this will increase and increase…

    Each side is terrified of the other side. So let’s suspend everything. NATO can order the rebels to stop, immediately. WE can order our troops to stop.

    We have our lead, Mommar Gaddafi. we need him to lead us to peace, and a way out of this. If you take Gaddafi out of the equation, a whole side will collapse. That is why people are fighting for Gaddaffi. You cannot leave them to be easy prey to a vengeful, hateful side. You saw them, they killed their own commander.

    They are very tribal – they are tribalist. So we hold the world responsible.

    They have burned houses, they have killed people, they have killed people because they are supporters of the government.

    Although they have not really suffered yet, they have continued their crimes. If burning houses, killing people on the street are not crimes…?

    You need to stop this disaster.

    As for us, we will fight. We have whole cities on our side who are coming to fight for Tripoli.

    I ask people, why are you fighting? They say, “I have no choice. I belong to a tribe who supports the government”

    People fight  out of fear. The other side is fighting out of fear, too.”

    This is illegal, immoral. One side is killing, and NATO is giving them support.

    I don’t want to take your time, but NATO uis taking the responsibility for the killing [of last days] They have indeed killed many people, many women, many children.

    Gaddafi has lead us… and should lead us to our democracy and our negotiations.

    Tahnk you very much.

    Rough and spotty, but hey I work cheap.

    All the time, Sky showed the split screen with the celebration happening on the streets to belie the words of Ibrahim.

  13. Shaun Appleby


    @LibyanLion17: AJA Caller – BREAKING – NATO is taking out the walls of Bab alAziziya so that FFs can move in. #Libya #Feb17 #Tripoli

    AJE now confirming three sons captured via NTC.

  14. Shaun Appleby


    @Number10gov: No 10 Statement: “It is clear from the scenes we are witnessing in #Tripoli that the end is near for Qadhafi” http://t.co/BDMUFts #Libya

    Bit of a vindication for Cameron if true.

  15. After being spooked when they first got there an hour ago and rumors of snipers, they are now broadcasting from Green Square and the party atmosphere is back.

  16. Shaun Appleby

    This isn’t an attempt to use Twitter for Forward Air Control or lure NATO into an atrocity:


    Tripoli_Latest Coordinates to the Location of Snipers in Benashour 32°52’12.28″N 13°12’22.36″ E #NATO @NATO #Tripoli #MermaidDawn PLS RT

    GPS + TCP/IP + NATO = Bang.

  17. Shaun Appleby

    Rebels (Libyans?) have the barracks, airport and port, now surrounding Qaddafi’s compound but still:


    @ChangeInLibya: My relative still reports snipers on top of apartments in Ben Ashour, people are still dying in #Tripoli. It’s not over yet.

    Perhaps not but not far to go.

  18. Shaun Appleby

    Jacky Rowland’s understanding of what is going on around her has consistently been a blank canvas on which she fingerpaints with whatever counterintuitive narrative has most recently crossed her mind.

  19. Shaun Appleby

    On this?  Hoax or what?  Body double?

    There was apparently a “dead Qaddafi” identity mix-up earlier this evening.

  20. HappyinVT

    going into Tripoli is because the commander of the unit tasked with protecting the city had defected months ago; his brother had been killed by Gaddafi in1986 after a failed coup attempt.

    They are also saying that they have been told Gaddafi is in a hospital in Tripoli, not sure I buy that since we’ve heard no official word.

    Also seems that Saadi was not captured; have heard nothing else on him just that two sons, Saif and Mohammed, are in rebel hands.  

  21. Rashaverak

    August 22, 2011

    Gaddafi Found Running for Republican Nomination

    Libyan Madman Turns Up in New Hampshire

    CONCORD, NH (The Borowitz Report) – The mystery surrounding Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s whereabouts was resolved today as the dictator announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in a town hall meeting in Concord, New Hampshire.

    In announcing his candidacy, the Libyan madman joins a Republican field which is believed to number in excess of seven hundred candidates.

    While some New Hampshire Republicans seemed surprised to see Col. Gaddafi shaking hands and kissing babies at the Concord town hall, an aide to the Libyan strongman said his transformation to GOP candidate made perfect sense.

    “In those final days in Tripoli he was becoming increasingly disconnected from reality,” said the aide.  “So I think he’ll fit right in.”

    Mr. Gaddafi, dressed in his trademark yellow turban and matching robe, got mixed reviews in his first appearance on the campaign trail, with some New Hampshire citizens saying that his six-hour stump speech was badly in need of pruning.

    Additionally, some felt that his rhetoric needed to be toned down, especially his closing line about fighting for the Republican nomination “until the last drop of blood.”

    But others gave him high marks for his grasp of history and geography, which most agreed was stronger than Michele Bachmann’s.

    Perhaps underscoring the challenges that lie ahead for Mr. Gaddafi in his quest for the GOP nod, current polls show him in the back of the pack, leading former Senator Rick Santorum but trailing the pizza guy.

    “Unfortunately for Muammar Gaddafi, he might be out of step with the current crop of Republican candidates,” one pollster said.  “There’s a perception that he’s too moderate.”

    http://www.Borowitzreport.com

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