Thursday, March 10, 2011

(#Libya) France Becomes the First Country to Officially Recognize Libya's Opposition

Good for France!

France 24 reports, citing AP (3/10/2011):

France is the first country to formally recognise the legitimacy of Libya's rebel National Transitional Council and will open an embassy in Benghazi, the government announced after meeting with NTC representatives in Paris Thursday

Libya’s opposition battled for military and diplomatic advantage against Moammar Gadhafi’s embattled regime on Thursday, winning official recognition from France and hitting government forces with heavy weapons on the road to the capital.

France became the first country to formally recognize the rebels’ newly created Interim Governing Council, saying it planned to exchange ambassadors after President Nicolas Sarkozy met with two representatives of the group based in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

Meanwhile, the NATO hemmed and hawed but no action other than wringing their collective hands and move some ships in the Mediterranean.

According to AFP, French president Nicolas Sarkozy will propose air strikes on Libya:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will propose air strikes on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's command headquarters to EU leaders, a source close to discussions has told AFP.

At an EU summit on the Libyan crisis, he will propose "striking an extremely limited number of points which are the source of the most deadly operations" by forces loyal to Gaddafi, the source, who asked not to be named, said on Thursday.

The three sites being considered are Gaddafi's Bab al-Azizia command headquarters in Tripoli, a military air base in Syrte, east of Tripoli and another in Sebha in the south, the source said.

Sarkozy's office declined to confirm the claim when contacted by AFP.

I'm not that sure about the air strikes, unless they can be carried out by France alone. I simply do not want the US to be involved in any way, given the track record in the past 50 years.

One thing that is decidedly against the opposition forces is not the lack of air power or training (they seem to be learning very quickly); it's the flat terrain of Libya. It offers hardly any cover for the opposition fighters. Conventional, open battles favor the Gaddafi forces with tanks and jets.

Guerrilla warfare, which has marked many revolutionary wars including that of Afghanistan and of the United States, is not really possible on a flat land.


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