If rebels would take over Tripoli, Muammar Gaddafi would consider blowing up his country’s capital, Russian envoy to Libya Mikhail Margelov told the Russian newspaper Izvestya in an interview, Bloomberg and AFP reported Thursday.
Margelov arrived in Libya last month and held talks with the Libyan government and prime minister Baghdadi al-Mahmudi. “The Libyan premier told me: if rebels take the city, we will cover it with missiles and blow it up,” Margelov told Izvestya. The Russian envoy never met with Gaddafi.
While Libya’s flamboyant leader is known for several controversial defense plans -- he vowed to defeat NATO and threatened earlier to launch a campaign of suicide attacks across Europe -- this most recent reported tactic raised eyebrows.
Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, the Canadian top commander of NATO operations in Libya, had never heard of the Colonel’s suicide plans. “I can report that the Gaddafi regime has given direction to its forces to destroy certain facilities as they withdraw back, such as fuel refineries and other aspects. This is a leader that will not hesitate to kill his population to achieve his personal goal,” the general told The Globe and Mail. “Let’s be clear. Just because Gaddafi has given a direction, that does not mean that that direction is being undertaken by his troops,” the General added.
On Thursday, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry announced it will propose a ‘Road Map’ that might bring an end to the Libyan civil war. The document will be discussed during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and over forty members of the Contact Group of Libya on Friday.
Click Here for Izvestya's interview with the Margelov in Russian.