Libya’s interim leader asked NATO on Wednesday to prolong its involvement in the country until the end of the year, trying to dissuade the Western military alliance that helped topple Moammar Gadhafi from ceasing operations in the next few days. For now, NATO has agreed to put off a decision to end its bombing campaign. Initially, the alliance had set Oct. 31 as the tentative deadline for winding down the mission. Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, chairman of the Transitional National Council, the country’s provisional government, said Libya needs outside help to bring to justice Gadhafi’s loyalists still at large. Notably, that includes the Colonel’s son and heir apparent, Saif al-Islam, though Reuters reports he may be ready to hand himself in to the International Criminal Court. Regardless of Saif al-Islam’s intentions, NATO officials seem reluctant to continue costly military operations and to become involved in tracking down individual Libyan fugitives, something that does not fall into the alliance’s UN mandate to protect civilians.
NATO postpones end to air patrols in Libya
Gadhafi's son reportedly ready to surrender
FILED UNDER: Libya