With Libyan Rebels On The Verge Of Taking Over Tripoli, Is Gaddafi About To Scorch The Earth?

Tyler Durden's picture

Following earlier reports from Reuters, that the Libyan rebels had closed in on Tripoli, Al Jazeera has now reported that the brigade in charge of Gaddafi's security has surrendered and laid down its arms (although it is sourced to the Rebel National Transitional Council so official confirmation may be required). And while according to an earlier TV appearance by Gaddafi, the soon to be deposed ruler of Libya has vowed he will remain in the country until the end, we can't help but wonder whether i) he is in the country, and ii) if, as ZH speculated back in February, he will employ a scorched earth tactic to destroy anything of value in his wake.  Namely Libya's oil infrastructure.  "I am afraid if we don't act, they will burn Tripoli," Gaddafi said in an audio address broadcast on state television. "There will be no more water, food, electricity or freedom." Keep an eye on crude futures when they open shortly.

From Al Jazeera:

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has pledged once again to remain in Tripoli until the end, as opposition fighters battled their way towards the capital to reinforce rebels who rose up in the city overnight.


Fighting continued into Sunday morning in a few central and eastern neighbourhoods, and rebel flags were raised over some buildings, witnesses said. Much of the population took cover inside their homes.


The clashes came a day after forces loyal to Gaddafi used heavy machine guns and mortars to confront lightly armed opposition forces and protesters who took to the streets. 


As opposition fighters continued what they called their "final push" for the capital, Gaddafi addressed the nation in an audio message aired on state television on Sunday.


In it, he refused to surrender and pledged to emerge "victorious" from the fighting for Tripoli. He also called on the people of Libya to come from all regions to liberate Tripoli, saying he was in the city with them and that together they would fight to the end.


"We will not, we will not abandon Tripoli to the occupants and their agents. I am with you in this battle," he said. 


"We do not surrender and, by God's grace, we will emerge victorious."    


'Take over Tajoura'


He called on his supporters to "march on (the district of) Tajoura in tens of thousands to purge the officials of the colonisers," in a reference to the NATO-backed rebels.


"Today we must take over Tajoura. I fear, if you let them, they will destroy Tripoli," he warned.


Meanwhile, outside of Tripoli, rebel fighters closed in. They advanced tens of kilometres from Zawiyah, to the west, seizing the town of al-Mayah and putting themselves within several kilometres of the capital's suburbs. Other rebel formations remained further way, stationed to the south, in Gharyan, and to the east, in Zlitan.

Despite the greatest challenge yet to his power, Gaddafi has remained pugnacious. In a telephoned audio address a day earlier, he exhorted his followers and congratulated them for defeating the "rats".


His most prominent son, Saif al-Islam, also gave a televised speech, saying the regime did not know how to raise the "white flag" of surrender.

And a video summary:

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slaughterer's picture

Gaddafi death rally, bitchez.

wang's picture

sky live feed from Tripoli

should work outside of UK via their sample channel

try this



French Frog's picture

crude oil futures don't belive the scorched earth probability ... so far.

down about 70 cents from friday's close

Spirit Of Truth's picture

There's something very fishy about the whole Libyan saga:



But if the world is rid of Muammar Gaddafi's regime, I guess so be it.  Even so....I think I smell a rat in all this and there might come some sort of unexpected negative surprise.

IMA5U's picture

so tru


the pundits are salivating

wang's picture
wang (not verified) Aug 21, 2011 4:03 PM



sitenine's picture

Camelish actually.

We will see if it's the one hump or the two hump type shortly.

Irish66's picture

Right before Asia opens?  Timing is everything

PaperBear's picture

The corporate media are engaged in a psyop.

One non-Libyan Libya rebel will be championed as a battalion of liberators.

tickhound's picture

More "bad luck" for the green shoot community.

alien-IQ's picture

RT contradicting this report with the following:

Eyewitnesses Dismiss Rebel Advances On Tripoli As Misinformation
(Video available here):

MyKillK's picture

So every thing the rebels claim is fact now?

Drag Racer's picture

AlJazera reporting Gaddafi has veen captured by rebels

your-a-peon's picture

are nato troops already on the ground i wonder? if this is true al qaida/muslim brotherhood nato dupes must be being helped out. they have been ineffective so far. propaganda from the alqaida/nato rebels perhaps

sellstop's picture

Oil hasn't been doing much lately. It WILL be interesting to see how oil reacts to the news recently. Dr. Oil??


Jasper M's picture

Still trying to pound that oil drum, Tyler?

One wonders by exactly what agency Gaddafi might employ "scorched earth" vs. oil production, as the main parts of it would seem to be very much under rebel control now. 

Oil is going down. Along with more things than you might imagine…

luciusfargo's picture

Why did this comment get marked down? There is nothing in this comment that detracts from the debate; quite the opposite in fact. There seems to be a growing tendency to reject opinions that challenge High Presit Tyler. 

Eireann go Brach's picture

Perhaps Obama will take a break from wine tasting and golf at Marthas Vinyard to tune in!

Zombie Investor's picture

Oh nuts, now I will have to endure Obama addressing the nation, again.

Bastiat's picture

Gold and silver gap open.  1868.9 GCZ and 43.57 SIU Highs.

Long-John-Silver's picture

I saw that. Blythe Masters must be shiting her panties right about now and wondering if she should call in the Parabolic Protection Team before or after she changes them.

slaughterer's picture

Gold and silver love it.  ES hates it.  But for how long?

falak pema's picture

gold loves Chavez play. He has fired up the gold bug craze.

At120's picture

Dude, she's already unwinded her silver shorts -- probably during the rapid Comex margin increases or during the sluggish action of the last few weeks.  This move in the PMs isn't just a flight to safety, it's due to the new Asian market futures being offered soon.





CrashisOptimistic's picture

No reason to expect Gadaffi to have the power to destroy infrastructure.

And no need.  Estimates are it will be 18-24 months to restore 1 million bpd out of there, and let's all please keep in mind that KSA and Kuwait will have their hands on their own spigots closing them down (from the alleged extra production they provided to make up for Libya) so as to preserve their reserves/wealth for the future.

In other words, restoring Libyan output will not increase global oil production.  A year or two has to pass and during that year or two the old fields everywhere die at about 5%/yr.  With global production of 80 mbpd, that's loss of 4 mbpd, with Libya adding 1 mbpd.

And might I also remind folks that the initial spike that took the global economy down occurred in summer 2008, while Libya production was fully online.

NATO and gunfire in general cannot affect geology.  That's just the way it is.

falak pema's picture

Mystery tour of Libya. The dictator falls and its taken the Nato three months to engineer this. Its been a chaotic civll war. The rebels seemed to have got their act together since their General was murdered in Benghazi. Cause and effect? 

Difficult to perceive what was tipping factor which turned this war in rebel's favor. In the last two to three weeks...

CrashisOptimistic's picture

NATO changed rules of engagement.

They were bombing before only to protect civilians, per their UN mandate.

With the bombing of a regime commandeered tugboat the other day, which had civilians aboard, the change was to attack the regime armed forces, period, not "protect civilians".  They loosened their interpretation.

Only regime forces can kill civilians, they persuaded themselves, and therefore attacking regime forces was within UN mandate.

If there had been more time, China or Russia may have stepped in and started killing rebel forces "because they might kill civilians".


Hook Line and Sphincter's picture

Blatant psyop.


Play the volatility you can expect in PM's and oil when the other 'interested' news outlets refute the BS.

macholatte's picture

One way or the other, by dawn tomorrow this will be history and the new, revised version of the truth (Truth 2.1) will be on CNN and Barry will take credit for creating or saving 3 million lives, err, jobs.

Propaganda Bitches!

Great Dane's picture

How is it that even after this man just handed out over 2 million AK-47's to his civilians that he is going down?  Someone please explain that?

sellstop's picture

Hold on to your hats! I guess the economic weakness trumps any threat to oil supply. If there was a threat.


sellstop's picture

I suppose it would kill us if we admitted that NATO might end up on the winning side?


slewie the pi-rat's picture

i'll give you what i've got now that my contacts, people who were kind enough to communicate once in a while with me, are gonzo

18 dbl semis went into the nafusa mountains last weekend (17th) thru dahibat, tunisia and this is the third "package" that has gone in this route (that i know of) since abt early june, when the border crossing was "changing hands" back & forth as i reported, here, at the time 

this is also the area of the french weapons airdrop.  this was the key strategic area, since both sides were re-supplying thru tunisia along "jabel nafusa"

once the rebels took the mountains (with the new "french" weapons)  things began to move, primarily due to the 6-month "window" for NATO, i personally opine;  bilary wanted this over before another three months came before congress, and she did it;  whatever role the new secretary of defense has played, it certainly has been played behind the scenes

weapons trucked in were allegedly donated by Qatar and almost certainly purchased w/ french funds

after the assassination of general younis, the council was disbanded;  the military leader was dead, one person was in charge, and my theory is that this was all planned at a very high level to get higly trained mercenaries into the western sweeps coming north to encircle tripoli and also to "mop up" brega and a few elsewheres in the east

people remain tight-lipped abt the presence of mercenaries, especially trained "off-national" forces who may have enabled these rebels to be quite successful these last two weeks in the west 

once that airstrip in the nafusas got built, well, anyone with military experience knows what the 118s or something similar can do with a 150 yards of road, and what even these small air transports can accomplish

then the battles of the roads and towns north of the desert mountains, the key being Gharyan,  from there, directly to the coastal town of zawiya "about 50 kilometers" from tripoli, controlling the coast route in from tunisia.  the battle for the refinery there, a few days ago, "closing the loop".   then, into tripoli

yes, the murder of general younis, broke up the rebel "high command" right about the time of what may have been a planned, massive mercenary influx

all of a sudden we have people who know how to do things, militarily, with air support, moving troops and just getting things done.  the new, rapid pace may have surprised the libyan armed forces.  who could have known?  those rebels got really good, really fast.  it was intensive training and esprit de corps?  whatever it was, it sure worked well, didn't it? 

meanwhile, in the east, brega, hard-fought, changing hands several times, fell to the rebels this weekend, too

joyous gunfire in the west, yesterday, celebratory gunshots throughout w. libya and in tunisia, people proud in their rebel T-shirts and hats, horns blaring, but still a little early to tell

there are rumors of high-level "defections" and a captured seif al islam, the moQ's son.  nobody knows where the moQ is...

...but still, too early to tell...

zenbones's picture

Is very interesting that things started to turn into the rebels favor once their "general" was dead.  Did that open the door for the SAS/SF guys to step in and show them how it's done? 

slewie the pi-rat's picture

hey, z_b!


i don't think we'll even know what happened.  another "secret"

whether gen. younis was "dirty" or not doesn't concern me, except for that possibility being used as cover for his murder (8.3.11).  after his murder tribalism went parabolic.  both france and great britain had used "agencies' funds" to get medical clinics and staff in and on the ground, via international NGOs, and there were a heluva lotta knife wounds being treated after the assassination, altho i don't think that was generally reported by the press

libya mustafa abdek jalil (and i encourage zeros to learn more about who he is), the chairman of the national transitional council, sacked the 14-member cabinet/executive board on 8.9.11, leaving himself in power.  10 days later, they're in tripoli. wowser!  i'm not imputing thie assassination plans to jalil;  that doesn't quite "fit" for me;  i consider it more likely that he was "out of the loop" which in itself may be ominous as libya heads toward transitional goobermint.

so, yes, i think that is at least one of the more obvious ways to connect the dots.  leon panetta was sworn as Sec of Defense on 7.1.  and gen. petraeus went to the CIA, and so on 

i'm mistaken abt things, wrong, all the time, but this is a military"surge" to my addled mind.  maybe they were just lucky.  or maybe they got very, very good very, very fast.  the latter idea could also be "explained" by certain grass-roots leadership showing up in the nafusa campaign, as reported in the press;  so that story has the "militia" being effectively trained and shaped into a fighting force, and so on.  during the heightened tribalism, of course...

when france confirmed that their military had been air-dropping weapons into the jabel nafusa (7.1.11), well, how many jokers are in this freaking deck, huh?

when we see the political problems on the horizon for the US and GB after NATO needs "another 3 months" i think we see the most fundamental cause of the "surge" and yes, i think it was done with the highly trained (and paid) "mercenaries" these nations have developed in the last decade's war on terror

zenbones's picture

Yes, it is interesting how they went from being a bunch of rebels who were seemingly having trouble shooting their way out of a paper bag to the second coming of Scipio Africanus.  Is Jalil the man under the puppet strings?  I mean, one puppet is easier to control than a whole committee.

prole's picture

Awesome breakdown slewie

sellstop's picture

Where did ZH go????