TRIPOLI, Global Research – August 10, 2011 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) conducted intensive attacks on Libyan civilians in the night of August 8 and in the early hours of August 9, 2011 from approximately 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. EET.
Civilians in Tripoli and many other cities in Libya were bombed indiscriminately by NATO.
A large number of casualties occurred in the city of Zliten, in the district of Misurata. In Zliten, 85 people were killed including 33 children, 32 women, and 20 men as a result of NATO’s deliberate targeting of residential areas and civilian infrastructure. Many of the injured civilian victims are in critical condition and near death.
Zliten has been under constant NATO bombardment for several days. The recent NATO attacks started at about 11:30 p.m. EET on August 8, 2011. At least 7 civilian homes belonging to local farmers were destroyed, killing entire families. In all 20 families were the targets of the NATO bombings.
The images below pertain to destroyed farm houses in Majer, near Zliten. Copyright, Matthew Ozanon 2011
Destroyed farm house in Majer, near Zliten. Copyright of all photos above. Matthew Ozanon 2011
Colonel Roland Lavoie, NATO’s official military spokesperson for Operation Unified Protector, confirmed that NATO bombed Zliten at 11:45 p.m. on August 8, 2011 and 2:34 a.m. on August 9, 2011.
In a second round of bombing, NATO targeted the same homes once more when local residents had arrived to the rescue of those who had been bombed.
Dismembered bodies were recovered from the rubble throughout the day. According to a Libyan eyewitness, a pregnant woman was killed with her dead unborn child exposed out of her torn body.
The only members of the international press that reported the damage of the bombings in detail were Russia Today (RT), teleSUR, Chinese Central Television (CCTV), and independent journalists.
CNN was present taking footage, but essentially released nothing and distorted the facts.(See photos below)
Dead civilians in Zliten Hospital. CNN cameraman in background. Copyright, Matthew Ozanon 2011
Dead civilians in Zliten Hospital. CNN camerman filming. Copyright, Matthew Ozanon 2011
Many of the journalists from NATO countries also held meetings on how to disseminate the news.
NATO claims categorically that the areas bombed were “legitimate” military targets and that there is no evidence of civilian casualties.
Colonel Lavoie stated that NATO had solid intelligence which confirmed that the farm houses were “military bases.” This statement is false and in total contradiction with realities on the ground including photographic and film evidence (see the photographs below).
Areas in Zliten and Majer (Mager) were bombed by NATO for strategic reasons. The bombing of civilian areas is tied to the planning of NATO’s offensive against Tripoli.
The Libyan clans in these areas have made it clear that they would fight the Transitional Council should its forces try to move westward against Tripoli from their position in Misurata. NATO deliberately bombed these areas “to clear the way” towards Tripoli.
Thousands of people also came to the funerals of the victims of the NATO attacks.
Jamahiraya Satellite Channel was also bombed by NATO. This was part of NATO’s efforts to contain information from coming out of Libya regarding the realities of the war.
NATO is running out of steam and the Transitional Council is near collapse.
NATO’s killing of civilians is intended to force the Libyan population into surrendering. The “Responsibility to Protect” is an utter shame. A few days earlier NATO left another boatload of migrants and refugees die in the Mediterranean Sea.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has sent a team to Tripoli from its head office in New York, which has pushed for a settlement between the Benghazi-based Transitional Council and the Libyan government. Although independent, HRW is known to liaise with the U.S. State Department.
A concrete factory and a Libyan cultural centre in Al-Khams were also bombed by NATO which has also announced that it will attack civilian sites.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya reporting from Tripoli is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).