Nachdem bereits gestern recht konkrete Gerüchte umliefen, Kampfjets der NATO hätten einen Konvoi in Libyen beschossen und damit zur Gefangennahme des ehemaligen Staatschefs Muammar Gaddafi beigetragen, hat die Allianz das jetzt im Wesentlichen bestätigt:
At approximately 08h30 local time (GMT+2) on Thursday 20 October 2011, NATO aircraft struck 11 armed military vehicles which were part of a larger group of approximately 75 vehicles manoeuvring in the vicinity of Sirte. These vehicles were leaving Sirte at high speed and were attempting to force their way around the outskirts of the city. The vehicles had a substantial amount of mounted weapons and ammunition, posing a significant threat to the local civilian population.
The convoy was engaged by NATO aircraft to reduce the threat. Initially, only one vehicle was destroyed, which disrupted the convoy and resulted in many vehicles dispersing and changing direction.
After the disruption, a group of approximately 20 vehicles continued at great speed to proceed in a southerly direction, due west of Sirte, and continuing to pose a significant threat. NATO again engaged these vehicles with another air asset. The post strike assessment revealed that approximately 10 pro-Qadhafi vehicles were destroyed or damaged.
At the time of the strike, NATO did not know that Qadhafi was in the convoy. NATO’s intervention was conducted solely to reduce the threat towards the civilian population, as required to do under our UN mandate. As a matter of policy, NATO does not target individuals.
We later learned from open sources and Allied intelligence that Qadhafi was in the convoy and that the strike likely contributed to his capture.
NATO does not divulge specific information on national assets involved in operations.
Zwar mag die NATO nicht bekanntgeben, welche Nationen die beiden Luftschläge ausgeführt haben, die den Konvoi stoppten. Allerdings hatte Frankreich bereits zuvor von einem Einsatz seiner Kampfjets in diesem Zusammenhang berichtet – und aus den USA kamen Meldungen über einen Drohnenangriff. Das passt: beim ersten Angriff ist hier die Rede von NATO aircraft, beim zweiten von another air asset.