According to Russia's special envoy to Libya, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has a "suicidal plan" to blow up his country's capital, Tripoli, if it falls into rebel hands. "The Libyan premier told me: If the rebels take over the city, we will cover it with missiles and blow it up," says Mikhail Margelov, as quoted Thursday in the Russian newspaper Izvestia. Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said the claim was "absolutely unfounded, untrue." Would Gadhafi really destroy Tripoli before he would surrender it?
Gadhafi just might go that far: The Libyan leader's back is against the wall, says Neave Barker at Al Jazeera. He's running out of everything from fuel to shells for his tanks. But he hasn't used any of his surface-to-surface missiles, and Margelov is convinced Gadhafi is ready to use them on Tripoli if it comes to that. "Hardly reassuring words from the man Russia's put in charge of mediating the conflict."
"Gadhafi's 'suicidal plan' for Tripoli"
No. He just wants us to think he would: Gadhafi is playing a crafty game, say Flavia Krause-Jackson and Caroline Alexander at Bloomberg. By "flitting between conciliatory overtures and threats," he's keeping NATO and the rebels guessing about whether he'll accept exile, or fight to the death. The distractions have helped him prolong the armed conflict, and his ability to manipulate the situation will only grow as European leaders focus less on Libya, and more on their mounting debt crisis.
"Gadhafi lives up to wily reputation as allies yet to oust him"
The endless speculation is meaningless: It's certainly unsettling to hear that Gadhafi has missiles and isn't afraid to use them on his own capital city, says Jeff Neumann at Gawker. But don't worry, for every scary report about his bloodlust, there's a rosy prediction that victory and democracy are just around the corner. "There will probably be another 'Col. Gadhafi is definitely leaving today" report out within the next few hours to calm everyone's nerves."
"Gadhafi is willing to 'blow up' Tripoli"