Gadhafi prepares to flee

Reports say Libya’s Col. Moammar Gadhafi may be preparing to flee as the rebels close in on his territory. NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski reports from the Pentagon.

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Moammar Gadhafi is making preparations for a departure from Libya with his family for possible exile in Tunisia, U.S. officials have told NBC News, citing intelligence reports.

One official suggested it was possible that Gadhafi would leave within days, NBC News reported.

The information obtained by NBC News follows a series of optimistic statements this week from U.S. officials that Gadhafi would soon give up the five-month-old fight and and leave Libya.

In an on-camera forum at the National Defense University this week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, “I think the sense is that Gadhafi’s days are numbered.”

The officials could provide no further details as to conditions or precise timing for Gadhafi’s departure, NBC said, and the news report emphasized that there was no guarantee that Gadhafi would follow through on any plans to flee.
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Gadhafi is becoming more isolated in the capital, Tripoli.

Rebel fighters are closing in from the west and the south while NATO controls the seas to the north. The opposition is in control of most of the eastern half of the country and has declared Benghazi, 620 miles east of Tripoli, as its de facto capital.

Rebel forces have managed to surround Tripoli and appear to be attempting to cut off supplies and fuel to trigger a collapse, NBC News reported. Families were seen driving away from the city.

Refinery taken
The intelligence reports were revealed as opposition fighters in Libya’s western mountains claimed control Thursday of the country’s last functioning oil refinery, a blow to Gadhafi’s regime in a week of stunning rebel advances.

The refinery is located in the strategic city of Zawiya, where rebels have made great strides in battles with government forces since their initial assault on Saturday.

“We have full control over the Zawiya oil refinery and we have liberated the whole city except two main streets,” Col. Ali Ahrash told The Associated Press.

The capture of the 120,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Zawiya is not expected to have a major impact on Gadhafi’s ability to secure fuel.

The flow of crude to the refinery from fields in the southwest of Libya had largely been halted since midsummer. The refinery was believed to be running at about one-third of its normal capacity, drawing mainly on crude oil that was in its storage tanks. Zawiya mostly produced fuel oil, not gasoline.

The BBC reported that one of its news crews were taken around the refinery by rebels and that there was no sign of pro-Gadhafi troops.

Zawiyais is just 30 miles to the east of Tripoli, along the Mediterranean coast.

Ahrash, who was in Benghazi, said rebels have control of the cities of Surman, Sabratha and Zwara, as well as the road to Tunisia from Tripoli.

Families fleeing their homes to avoid a possible rebel assault on Tripoli described growing tensions and deteriorating living conditions in the capital: Security forces have blanketed the city with checkpoints, gun battles are heard after nightfall and power outages last days.

Explosions in Tripoli
Early Friday morning explosions rocked Gadhafi’s main compound of Bab al-Aziziyah.

Seven thunderous blasts could be felt at a Tripoli hotel where foreign journalists stay.

13 thoughts on “Gadhafi prepares to flee

  1. Kebede Lemma on

    Gaddafi is preparing to leave for Venezuela, and two planes arrived in tonight in Tripoli, one of them will carry Gaddafi, materials and family while the other one will be evacuating “important people.” The people that were supporting his camp are left to fend for themselves. Another dictator running away leaving everyone behind. Agazi forces should learn their lessons from this, Meles will be chased out in the same manner.

  2. Desalegn on

    It takes two to tango. Now Zenawis friend is going down the gutter the scumbag AgNazi leader has no place to go and should stand trial for his 20 plus years crimes. He is a certified leader of a terrorist organization namely TTPLF (terrorist tigri peoples front) as his rubber stamp parliament defines it. Don’t entertain exit strategy for the tyrant. Let him face the music in Addis – same place where he slaughtered 200 plus souls and many thousands elsewhere.

  3. Bedru on


    I have known Isayas for a long time. He used to be much more smart and cunning than all the woyane put together. But his problem is that over the years he has become too arrogant, too self-confident, and extremely stubborn, almost like a spoiled child. His sycophant supporters are making him believe that he is the smartest person alive. He is also still acting like a rebel leader instead of a head of state after 20 years as a president. So he picks fight with every one. He could have been a great leader not only for Eritrea but the whole of Africa, but unfortunately due to his own mistakes and his followers blind support he is going to be brought down by a mental/physical midget like Meles.

  4. gragn ahmed on

    Most likely Ghadafi will join his long time friend of socialist camp Mengstu in Zimbabwe. Ghadafi could have been gone long time ago, but the British want to get maximum damage to Libya infrastructure and then get lucrative contract in nation building.

    All dictators will be gone in nano seconds had it not been for West and now for China and long time Russia camp meddling.

    If people respect their own kins, this would not happen. One of the most dictators are to be found in Africa, and Arab world because, we are tribalists.

  5. Anonymous on

    Whether it takes long time or not, Zenawi’s fate will be the same. Zenawi is in anxiety due to his godfather’s (Gadafi) fall. The recent attempt of deception diplomacy to Eritrea is part of Zenaw’s group anxiety. The worst part is that Zenawi will not be supported anywhere anytime. It is rumored that the recent explosion of young bootlickers are awaiting some convenient time to annihilate the tribal regime in Ethiopia.

  6. Dedebit on

    Yes nano second would be enough to eliminate the African despots and certified dictators if the West or waste is willing to pull the plug from their life support system. They know how to do regime change- remember November 22.1963 Dallas? Dedebit says wake up to all…the criminals were programmed to make Afrca full of failed states when they carried them to the ICU. In the case of Ethiopia since before 1991. Qadaffi is no exception. He is an old shoe now like Saddam. Remember also the Zenawis and Afeworkis teaming up in 2003 to join the so-called coalition of the Willing or appropriately the coalition of the Killing? They all are old shoes!
    Ethiopia shall Triumph again and again!!!

  7. please, everyone look also for war crime fugitives around your neighbours and report them to your local authorities.Canada is now rounding up those criminals and deporting them to where they come from.Those wayane criminals are in your neighbors and please report them quickly.( hodam & leboch Wayanes )

  8. koster on

    Meles will not flee, he is arrogant and thinks he is smart and it is possible to loot and terrorize the Ethiopian people indefinately. At last he will end up like the last communist leader of ROMANIA, he will be dragged out of office dead or alive with his greedy wife by hungry/angry Ethiopians sooner or later.

  9. Truth on

    “Melese, s fate will be the same …”

    Melese is Western hand picked servant. He was allowed to mutilate Ethiopian people in front of the world. Days after he massacred children in Addis street, IMF and World bank ran to Addis with bag of cash to congratulate him. If Ethiopians decided to get out of prison cage called Ethiopia and fight back, unlike Gadafi who may die soon stubbornly standing in front of NATO advances, Melese may eventually run to Western capitals to lead a comfortable life on looted wealth.

  10. I think Meles has 20 more years, if we are comparing him with Ghadaffi. However, Meles is leaving in the next couple of years on his own. What are you going to say afterwards?

  11. nebro on

    for sure it is time !!!! the dictators meles and isayas have only some time left to get thier a….s out of the palaces they illegally occupy!!!!!!!!!!!

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