Gaddafi: The final battle
The battle is over. The date is 20th October, 2011. Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi is finally dead. In the end he was caught in a drain pipe, shot and wounded, begging for mercy long after making mayhem of a country merely to cling to power.
The battle to remove him started on 17 February, 2011 as part of the Arab Spring, the mass popular movement that sought to remove despots across the Middle East. He became the third Arab leader to fall from grace, after Tunis's Zain Al Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt's Husni Mubarak.
The Islamic revolutionaries at last got the better of him in bloody battles with his supporters that took as many weeks after the took power in Tripoli, late August, sending him, his sons, and his fighters scurrying for their lives.
It was Sirte attention was focused, the last of the pro-Ghaddafi loyalists. The fall of the town and Gaddafi himself was the anti-climax of bloody battles that took nine months to seal with the final death of the old leader who fought till the end.
In the final days, the revolutionaries fought hard against Gaddafi armed men, slowly taking over the town, and their fortunes turned into elation particularly when they heard the Libyan leader was in Sirit with some of his sons. And as a result they stepped up the fighting on the streets and corners of the town.
Finally, the prize and the kill became very close, revolutionaries bided their time. With his fighters and supporters either dead or runaway, the revolutionaries had the place for themselves, checking in tight, places, deep corners and alleyways.
Finally Ghaddafi was caught, hiding in a hole after escaping from a hospital after an attack on his convey by NATO fighter jet. Later France claimed that it was one of its jets who fired on the convet believed tohave Ghaddafi who was trying to flee the city.
After 42 years of rule he was caught, almost like a vagabond in what some call a large drain pipe, hiding from a worst fate. This was a grim reminder of an earlier era when American soldiers caught Saddam Hussein of Iraq hiding in a hole in the ground.
But this time it was Libyan fighters who caught their former leader. In the fight for Sirit, and in fact the whole of Libya, NATO had been keeping a low profile, providing air cover and occasional strikes. However, the battle of Sirte was a wholly Libyan affair. Despite their targetted action NATO countries had wanted to stay in the background, although up to 100 sorties were performed on the city by the day.
It was a Libyan operation. The revolutionaries got him in one piece, alive with bullet wonds in his face and both legs.He gave no resistance but begged for mercy and seen on video being manhandled by those he caught him. He was being carried, and you could see a tired man. It was not immediately clear how he died, but somewhere along the line, he collapsed.
News was conflicting. In the early day, it was difficult to know what happened. News channels and satellites were still trying to fathom the fact that Gaddafi was really dead, information was sketchy, untill it became clear it was indded true.
At first many thought, his son Moutassim was captured with Gaddafi, and then he wasn't but was held somewhere else, and yet later on it was confirmed he was killed and taken to Mosrata. Pictures beamed first of the corpse of his Defense Minister Abu Baker Younis, who had been leading the fight against the revolutionaries but no avail for in the end he was shot dead.
As well the fight is now for Sief Al Islam. He is believed to be somewhere in Mosrata, after reports saying he is in the Libyan desert. Now as well many are saying he had been shot in the foot. With Gaddafi out of the way as well, the fight is now to cleanse what many are seen the end of the Gaddafi dynasty.
The capture and sudden death of the Libyan leader who is on record for describing his people as rats and vermins signals the end of an old and bloody era and the start of a new one for Libya. It’s a true Arab Spring and a historic development.
As soon of his capture and death was heard mass celebrations started all over the country.