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British Spies Tell Gaddafi's Generals: Defect Or Face Attack

London, March 21: British intelligence is warning Colonel Gaddafi's generals that it could be fatal to remain loyal to the Libyan leader.MI6 spies and military officials are contacting commanders in Tripoli trying to persuade them

PTI Updated on: March 22, 2011 15:29 IST
british spies tell gaddafi s generals defect or face attack
british spies tell gaddafi s generals defect or face attack

London, March 21: British intelligence is warning Colonel Gaddafi's generals that it could be fatal to remain loyal to the Libyan leader.


MI6 spies and military officials are contacting commanders in Tripoli trying to persuade them to defect, the Daily Mail reported.

Their message is blunt: ‘General, we've got the GPS co-ordinates of your command post. They are programmed into a Storm Shadow missile. What do you want to do?'

As Gaddafi vowed to wage a long war with the ‘crusader alliance', British officials said the intelligence services had the telephone numbers of many key military officials in his regime.

A senior source said: ‘They will be doing their best to get in touch. This is a situation where success breeds success. Once you get air superiority it becomes suicidal for Libyan army commanders to want to move tanks or to use artillery.

‘That's pressure. It worked in Iraq.'

Former Army chief Lord Dannatt said: ‘If I was a Libyan military commander I'd be thinking very closely about my loyalty.

‘What about loyalty to my country, my tribe? I think it's those ground commanders' loyalty we expect to see changing when they realise they have no hope against the international air forces.'

Colonel Gaddafi was heard but not seen yesterday as he vowed to fight with ‘unlimited patience and deep faith'.

The Libyan leader's face did not appear during his defiant address on state TV, after Defence Secretary Liam Fox refused to rule out the possibility of allied forces treating Gaddafi himself as a legitimate target for airstrikes.

While he kept the West guessing about his whereabouts, his voice was used over the image of a giant gold fist crushing a U.S. fighter jet – the monument at the Bab al-Azizia military compound on the southern outskirts of Tripoli which was bombed by the U.S. in 1986.

Speaking of the ‘glorious hours we are living', Gaddafi said in his 15-minute speech-cum-phone call to state TV: ‘We will fight inch by inch. This is our land. We will arm the entire Libyan people. Anyone who co-operates with the crusaders is a traitor.

‘We are not afraid of your rockets or your air raids. We do not fear you. You were defeated in Somalia, in Lebanon, in Iraq. You were beaten by bin Laden.

‘We will defend our honour, our families, our homeland.'

Unlike Egypt and Tunisia, scenes of successful popular uprisings recently, Libya is not a Twitter or Facebook society and it is far easier for Gaddafi to control exactly what his people know.

Much of the country still relies on state media for ‘information' and listened yesterday as Gaddafi insisted: ‘This is a crusader war against the Muslim people, especially against the Libyan people. They believe they will terrify the Libyan people.

‘These are only terrorist means, and only the forces on the ground will be victorious.'

He told the UN-sanctioned forces: ‘You are terrorists. You are fighting a people that hasn't invited you. Libya has become a hell in the face of enemies.

'This is an unjustified aggression. We will not leave our land and we will liberate it. We will not let America and France and Britain or allied forces enjoy our oil.'

His son Saif dismissed the rebel forces as a few hundred ‘gangsters' infiltrated by Al Qaeda.

He called Saturday's attack a ‘big mistake'.

Saif told U.S. television: ‘Believe me, one day you will wake up and you will find out that you were supporting the wrong people and you had made a big mistake in supporting those people.

‘It's like the WMD [weapons of mass destruction] in Iraq. It's another story.'
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