Forces in Libya loyal to Moammar Qaddafi are reportedly using foreign journalists as human shields in order to prevent air strikes by western militaries that are reluctant to be accused of bombing civilians.
Allegedly, a planned attack by the British on one of Gaddafi’s compounds was cancelled after it was learned that reporters from CNN and Reuters were brought to the location.
On Sunday afternoon (local time), after a British submarine stationed in the Mediterranean ocean launched two Tomahawk missiles at a Gaddafi target in Bab Al Azizia Tripoli, the Libyan Ministry of Information escorted a group of reporters to the site under the pretense of showing them the destruction that the bombs had caused.
Fox News later reported that the presence of the foreign reporters compelled the UK forces to forego further assaults on the locale.
Jennifer Griffin, of Fox, reported from the Pentagon: We have learned that the British fighter jets actually had seven missiles. They were in fact going to be fired from Tornado planes, fighter plans, onto that compound, but the mission had to be cut short because of the presence of CNN television crews and Reuters journalists on the ground that had been taken to the site by the Libyan Ministry of Information. The British generals in charge of the operation and of flying those Tornado planes called off the operation to fire those seven missiles that were supposed to be fired at [Gaddafi’s] compound.
The Ministry of Information reportedly also brought civilians to the bomb site also to act as human shields to prevent further strikes. Many of these are Libyans with relatives in Gaddafi’s armies.
“If they want to hit Moammar Gaddafi, they must hit us because we are all Moammar Gaddafi,” said Ghazad Muftah, according to media reports.