Monday, August 1, 2011
Libya confusion, NATO stuck in mire
Younes was the first high Gaddafi government official to defect to the rebel cause last February. Prior to his defection, Younes had been number two in the Libyan power establishment. A close associate of Gaddafi for almost forty years, he was serving as his former boss’ interior minister when he became one of the earliest and most important government figures to desert.
Gaddafi had sent Younes to Benghazi last February to deal with the uprising. But rather than carry out a counter-revolutionary purge with the military unit he had brought with him that would have seen many people killed and the city probably severely damaged, Younes decided to join the rebel cause. For their part, the rebels overlooked the fact Younes had served Gaddafi loyally for decades.
“The rebels closed both eyes, hoping other high-ranking Gaddafi people would follow the prominent deserter,” stated one German publication.