Here is the latest update on the events in Tripoli today, big thanks to the Free Generation Movement
1- Tripoli based high level military officer has arranged for his family to leave Tripoli for Tunisia in anticipation for a soon impending high intensity phase in Tripoli. This is first hand info
2- Alleged NATO bombing of civilian target in Araada. Will go and investigate and try and establish some reports from nearby sources. From my experience, i was near the area during a very loud explosion and there was a lot of activity in the air suggesting NATO involvement. I am VERY skeptical that Gadaffi is bombing sites. I am not skeptical of his capability. But up until now i am 100% sure it hasn’t happened. I will investigate the Aradaa issue further.
3- Last 2 nights have seen sporadic armed activity in area of fashloum. Reports from FGMovement member that there was unusual security activity in the Jama3 Alsaga3 area last night.
4- Increased activity in Western districts of Tripoli – Ghot Asha3al, Seeyaheya, Shara3 3ashra, etc….
The A’radaa Bombing.
Overwhelming consensus in Tripoli is that the bombing in the residential area of Araada is a regime conspiracy.
I am not convinced, not because Gadaffi is not capable, not because he is not willing, and not because of any kind of squeaky clean history. But I am not convinced because there is no evidence to support this claim. I may well be very wrong.
Lets take a look at some points (playing devils advocate).
WHY MIGHT IT BE GADAFFI BOMBING:
1- He has done it before to Misrata and the mountains and other places.
2- It’s a residential area, densely populated, with no apparent military purpose. So it cant be NATO
3- There is a school nearby, again it cant be NATO
4- Neighbours were today approached and were taking notes on collateral damage with a view to paying compensation. This suggests there is an element of guilt or the regime want to silence the neighbours (who might know something)
5- NATO said they only hit a surface to air installation. This cant be it, so it must be Gadaffi.
6- A man shouting outside the bomb site was saying babies were killed last night in the very building. The building was an unfinished shell of a building, why were there babies there? Implies more lies and conspiracy. But this argument can be used for either side.
WHY MIGHT IT BE NATO BOMBING:
1- The bombing appears accurate, with very little collateral damage. Suggesting precision munitions were used.
2- Grad rockets do not cause this kind of destruction.
3- Grad rockets make a whistling sound before hitting. I did here such noises last night.
4- Grad rockets can be heard when being launched. I did not hear these.
5- The notion that rockets were fired from Metiga Base has been ruled out by FGMovement thanks to sources.
6- It was an abandoned, unfinished building site, with adjacent similarly unfinished buildings. Ideal place to store ammunition or to use as a mobile ground to air missile site.
7- It is not unusual for the regime to place strategic things in neighbourhoods. See EinZara bombings, see Misrata placements of tanks, see the placement of antiaircraft batteries in central Tripoli very close to homes.
8- Whilst there is a history of gadaffi indiscriminately shelling civilians, there is no such history in Tripoli. There is no precedent here.
9- There was aerial activity last night at the time of the bombing consistent with an air raid.
10-The noise of the explosion was consistent with previous NATO raids. Intense, heavy explosions. Jets were seen overhead using their afterburners.
I may well be very wrong but until further evidence surfaces I will assume this was a NATO bombing with precision guided munitions on a military target which was illegally placed within a residential area.
To those who have reports of a precedent of shelling in Tripoli by gadaffi forces in an attempt to claim that NATO is bombing civilians:
1- I can not claim to be able to verify all reports in Tripoli, so your reports may well be accurate.
2- I have not yet met anyone in Tripoli who has experienced shelling by anything but NATO jets.
3- The regime have not yet taken journalists to bombed sites which NATO have denied bombing. What usually happens is NATO and the regime agree on the bomb site, but NATO says it is military and the regime says it is civilian.
4- In central Tripoli there is no evidence of grad shelling. The destruction of buildings with artillery or grad rockets can be distinguished from 1ton NATO bombs. See misrata destruction, see zawiyah destruction.
5- FGMovement is unanimous in saying that there has been no shelling of civilians in Tripoli, and our members extend to various districts of the capital.
Once again I may well be very wrong. But I just present our findings then you can all decide.
**Updated Note: NATO has confirmed that one of its rockets may have experienced a weapons system failure and strayed from the intended target, which was a missile storage facility.