NATO Joins Hunt for Qaddafi

Libyan rebels searching for Gaddafi in Tripoli, August 24, 2011

From Kareem Fahim, Rick Gladstone, and Alan Cowell, the New York Times:  NATO was reported on Thursday to be providing significant support in the hunt for Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi as rebels sought to cement their control, offering a nearly $2 million bounty for his capture and closing in on one of his last bastions of support, his birthplace in Surt. . . .

Unusually, Britain’s Defense Secretary, Liam Fox, said publicly on Thursday that NATO was trying to help the rebels locate the elusive and still defiant Colonel Qaddafi, apparently breaking from the frequent Western assertion that the alliance’s role is limited under its United Nations mandate to protecting civilians.

“I can confirm that NATO is providing intelligence and reconnaissance assets” to the insurgents “to help them track down Colonel Qaddafi and other remnants of the regime,” Mr. Fox told Sky News.

But he withheld comment on a report in The Daily Telegraph that British special forces on the ground were involved in the hunt for Colonel Qaddafi. He also said there were “absolutely no plans” to commit British ground forces to Libya in the future.  (photo: AP)

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