March 21, 2011
In a statement issued today, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said 48 civilians were reported to have been killed and 150 wounded in air strikes on Libya. Lukashevich called on Britain, France and the United States Sunday to stop air strikes on non-military targets.
48 civilains reported killed, 150 wounded in the attacks.
Official Libyan sources reported the same numbers. It said most of the casualties were children but provided no further details.
On Thursday, Russia abstained on a Security Council vote authorizing a no-fly zone over Libya and “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from the country’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
“Moscow notes with regret this armed action, taken in conjunction with the hastily passed UN Security Council resolution 1973,” the Russian foreign ministry said the statement posted on its website Sunday.
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“We once again call on all of the Libyan conflicting parties as well as on those who take military efforts in Libya to do their best to avoid manslaughter of civilians, and to halt fire and violence as soon possible.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zyang Yui urged the UN Security Council to honor the UN Charter and respect Libya’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Late Sunday, the US, France, and Britain escalated the violence by targeting Gaddafi’s Bab Azizia residence in the southern suburbs of Tripoli. Western journalists reporting from the scene said missiles had had turned the center of the large three story building into a mound of wiring and tangled concrete, according to the Los Angeles Times.
CNN was told by the Pentagon that Gaddifi’s home was targeted because it contains command-and-control capabilities over Libyan forces. US officialdom insists Gaddafi is not a target.
Gaddafi’s Bab Azizia residence was targeted in 1986 by then president Ronald Reagan. Gaddafi’s adopted daughter, Hanna, was killed in the attack. Reagan ordered the air strikes in response to a disco bombing in West Berlin that killed three people, including two US servicemen. Evidence of Libyan culpability in the Berlin bombing was never demonstrated.
Former Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky claims the Israelis tricked Reagan into bombing Libya.
Journalist and talkshow host Stephen Lendman says the attack on Libya was planned months ago.
Prof. Francis Boyle explains how the UN resolution allows for an outright invasion of Libya.
It is likely human shield volunteers died at the site, including women and children. “They said they had come to protect Gaddafi’s compound from bombing by volunteering to be shields,” the New York Times reported.
“If they want to hit Muammar Gaddafi, they must hit us because we are all Muammar Gaddafi,” Ghazad Muftah, a 52-year-old widow of a soldier from the Warfalla tribe, told the Times. She was at Bab Azizia with her six grown children.
“It’s hard to know exactly how this turns out,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said on CBS. He said it is a possibility Qaddafi may remain in power after the bombing campaign concludes.