Three missiles hit a private residence in the Libyan capital of Tripoli late on Saturday, killing the youngest son of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and three pre-teen grandchildren.
Libyan Officials Take Journalists to Site
Libyan government officials brought journalist to see the site of the air strike where they observed the roof completely caved in in several places. Mangled remains of reinforced steel and concrete hung down from the ceiling. One sofa was left miraculously intact while other furniture was covered in debris. The house was is located in a wealthy residential neighborhood of Tripoli, where glass and other remnants of the house lay covering the well-kept lawn.
Government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim commented on the attack:
“What we have now is the law of the jungle. We think now it is clear to everyone that what is happening in Libya has nothing to do with the protection of civilians.”
NATO Does Not Target Civilians
NATO denies that it was targeting Colonel Gaddafi, his family or any civilians, but did admit to launching air strikes on military targets which are found in the same area as the site which was shown to reporters.
“NATO continued its precision strikes against regime military installations in Tripoli overnight, including striking a known command and control building in the Bab al-Aziziyah neighborhood shortly after 1800 GMT Saturday evening,” said a spokesman for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Charles Bouchard, Canadian Lieutenant-General and NATO’s commander of operations in Libya explained that the target was part of a general strategy to destroy command centers which threaten the welfare of civilians.
“All NATO’s targets are military in nature … We do not target individuals,” he said.