Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The slaughter in Sirte

NATO countries led by the US, Britain, and France are committing terrible war crimes in the Libyan city of Sirte. In their frenzied drive to crush all remaining resistance in the North African state, NATO and its proxy militia forces aligned with the National Transitional Council are unleashing indiscriminate military force, killing civilians and destroying buildings and infrastructure throughout the urban centre.

Numerous civilian refugees who have managed to escape the siege have reported seeing schools, hospitals, homes, and other civilian buildings destroyed by NATO bombs. Air raids are now taking place around the clock. Anti-Gaddafi militiamen are firing rockets, mortar rounds and tank shells, without even pretending that they are aiming at any particular targets within the city of 100,000 people. Sirte is suffering from severe shortages of food, water and medicine supplies, further fuelling the humanitarian crisis. Children, the elderly and other vulnerable people are especially affected.

The violence underscores the predatory economic and geostrategic calculations behind the regime-change campaign spearheaded by US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron. Washington and its European allies aim to seize control of Libya’s lucrative oil reserves, at the same time reasserting their dominance in North Africa and countering the challenge posed to their interests by the revolutionary uprisings in neighbouring Egypt and Tunisia.

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