1.5.2011 – NATO denied targeting Gaddafi, or his family, but said it had launched air strikes on military targets in the same area of Tripoli as the bombed site seen by 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,” the alliance said in a statement.
NATO’s commander of Libya operations, Canadian Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, said the target was part of a strategy to hit command centers that threaten civilians.
“All NATO’s targets are military in nature…We do not target individuals,” he said in a statement.
Any appearance of an assassination attempt against Gaddafi is likely to lead to accusations that the British- and French-led strikes are overstepping the provisions of the U.N. resolution to protect civilians.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a long-time ally of Gaddafi, called it attempted murder.
“There is no doubt the order was given to kill Gaddafi. It doesn’t matter who else is killed, kill Gaddafi … a murder, this is a murder,” he said in Caracas.
Konstantin Kosachev, head of the international affairs committee in the lower house of Russia’s parliament, told Interfax: “More and more facts indicate that the purpose of the anti-Libyan coalition is to physically destroy Gaddafi.”
He called on the Western coalition to undertake a prompt evaluation of its actions.
“I am aware of unconfirmed media reports that some of Gaddafi’s family members may have been killed,” NATO’s Bouchard said. “We regret all loss of life.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron said declined to comment on what he called the “unconfirmed report” about members of Gaddafi’s family being killed in the NATO strike.
But he told BBC television: “The targeting policy of NATO and the alliance is absolutely clear. It is in line with the U.N. resolution 1973 and it is about preventing a loss of civilian life by targeting Gaddafi’s war-making machine, so that is obviously tanks and guns, rocket launchers, but also command and control as well.”