An air strike by western coalition forces upon the Libyan capitol Tripoli has reportedly destroyed a three-story building which was a command center used by Moammar Gaddafi.
The building is located in Bab al-Azizia, a sprawling compound that Gaddafi has often used as a backdrop for television addresses, and which was also bombed by the United States in 1986.
It was unclear if the missile strike led to any casualties and it is also unknown if Gaddafi was at the location or not.
Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim called it a barbaric bombing but claimed no one was injured. He also declined to comment on Gaddafi’s whereabouts.
According to media reports, an unidentified western military official claimed that the attack destroyed Gaddafi's command and control capability.
Britain’s ministry of defense said one its submarines patrolling the Mediterranean fired guided Tomahawk missiles on Libyan air defense systems in Tripoli.
Sixty-four Libyans have been killed in various air strikes over the weekend, according to Libyan officials; however such figures cannot be independently confirmed.
Officials from the U.S. and Britain – who along with France and other western nations continue to attack Libyan military targets under authorization from the United Nations – insist that Gaddafi himself is not the target of the strikes.
General Sir David Richards, Britain’s chief of the defense staff told BBC that targeting Gaddafi was not allowed under the UN resolution.
A Pentagon official in the U.S. now allege that western coalition forces control the air space between the capitol city of Tripoli and the rebel base of Benghazi in the east.
The no-fly zone is effectively in place, he said. He added that Libyan government troops who are advancing on rebel areas are also vulnerable to attack.
If they are moving on opposition forces ... yes, we will take them under attack, the spokesman told reporters. There has been no new air activity by the regime and we have detected no radar emissions from any of the air defense sites targeted and there’s been a significant decrease in the use of all Libyan air surveillance radars.
The Arab League, which has already condemned the air strikes on Libya, remains very concerned about potential civilian casualties.
What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians, said Amr Moussa, chief of the League.
Meanwhile, the Persian Gulf state of Qatar will be the Arab state to join military strikes against Libya, with the dispatch of four planes to help enforce the no-fly zone.
After the initial assaults from the sky, the Libyan government again declared a ceasefire, but US authorities are not buying it.
Our view at this point...is that it isn’t true, or has been immediately violated, White House National Security
Adviser Tom Donilon told reporters.
Gaddafi has vowed to keep fighting and has already warned that the attacks on his country will lead to a long, drawn-out war.
We will fight for every square in our land, Gaddafi said. We will die as martyrs. We will fight and we will target any traitor who is co-operating with the Americans or with the Christian Crusade.”