Skepticism Remains about Reports of Deaths in Gaddafi Family

Media sources are still reporting the supposed deaths of Saif al-Arab and three of Muammar Gaddafi’s grandchildren in quotation marks. As yet, there has been no independent confirmation that these deaths actually took place. Al Jazeera reports that “skepticism surrounds” the reports from Libya.

Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton, reporting from Benghazi, said there were “an awful lot” of suggestions in Libya that the news of the deaths could be fabricated.

“One of the main spokesmen for the Transitional National Council, Abdul Hafez Goga, is saying he thinks it could all be fabrication, that it may well be Gaddafi is trying to garner some sympathy,” she said.

“Back in 1986, Gaddafi once claimed that Ronald Reagan, then US president, had launched a strike on his compound in Tripoli and killed his daughter. Many journalists since then dug around and found out that the actual child that had died had nothing to do with Gaddafi, that he sort of adopted her posthumously.”

Supposedly Muammar Gaddafi and his wife were in his youngest son’s compound when it was bombed. Gaddafi spokesman Moussa Ibriham took “journalists to the remnants of a house in Tripoli, which Libyan officials said had been hit by at least three missiles. It appeared unlikely anyone inside could have survived.”

Then how did Gaddafi and his wife survive? And how do we know that the house belonged to Gaddafi’s son? None of this has been confirmed. Why?

From Bloomberg:

The U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization declined to confirm that Muammar Qaddafi’s youngest son, Saif al-Arab, and three grandchildren were killed in an allied air strike on a house in Tripoli, an assertion made by a Libyan official earlier today.

“We do not” have confirmation of his death “and I’m not sure exactly what the situation was,” Senator John McCain of Arizona, ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said today on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program. The U.S. State Department referred inquiries to NATO.

“No confirmation from NATO,” Chris Riley, a NATO spokesman in Brussels, said in an e-mail.

Nato also denies deliberately trying to kill anyone in the Gaddafi family. From the Guardian

“All Nato’s targets are military in nature and have been clearly linked to the Gaddafi regime’s systematic attacks on the Libyan population and populated areas. We do not target individuals,” said Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, the Canadian officer commanding the military operations in Libya from Naples.

And this was just posted on Twitter:

The claim that Muammar Qaddafi’s three grandchildren were killed in an airstrike conducted by NATO late Saturday is not true, an Al Arabiya source has revealed. A source close to the Qaddafi family has confirmed the death of Colonel Qaddafi’s youngest son, Saif al-Arab, in the airstrike but has denied the story that Mr. Qaddafi’s three grandsons were killed.

But the article notes:

Colonel Qaddafi has been known to sire a great many children, and no reliable count exists. News sources have said that his personal life is very colorful. Female foreign correspondents that have interviewed Mr. Qaddafi over the years have reported that he would frequently offer them demonstrations of his sexual prowess.

Mr. Qaddafi’s announcements concerning the alleged deaths of family members at the hands of foreign powers sometimes do not hold up to subsequent scrutiny….

Libyans generally do not trust this sort of information anymore, a source close to the Qaddafi family said to Al Arabiya.

Revising history about his family members is something that has happened before as far as Colonel Qaddafi is concerned.

So what is the real truth and why is it taking so long for it to be revealed?