Libyan Rebels’ Military Leader Killed, Likely By Own Side

Abdel-Fattah Younis, the military leader of Libya’s anti-Gaddafi rebels, has been killed while in custody of his own political  leaders.

AP (“Fear, confusion among Libya’s rebels after killing“):

Fear and confusion have gripped the de-facto rebel capital in eastern Libya after the rebel military chief was shot dead.

Heavy gunfire crackled throughout Benghazi early Friday as residents worried that the death of Abdel-Fattah Younis could shatter their military, leaving the rebel-held east vulnerable to attack by Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.

Much remains unclear about Younis’ death. A rebel leader said Younis was summoned for questioning but shot dead with two aides before he arrived. He said rebels arrested someone for the attack, but had not found the bodies.

Rebel security officers said earlier that they had arrested Younis for questioning about alleged ties to Gadhafi’s regime, raising the possibility he died in their custody.

This doesn’t do much to dispel  the notion  that the United States and its NATO allies have sided with  a bunch of amateurs. The fact that we have recognized the people  responsible for  Younis’ murder as the legitimate government of Libya raises some uncomfortable questions.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, World Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Gustopher says:

    The fact that we have recognized the people  responsible for  Younis’ murder as the legitimate government of Libya raises some uncomfortable questions

    To be fair, Gadaffi would have killed this guy too, given an opportunity. So if that’s your criteria for who to recognize, there’s no good choice.

    I really wish we could just get someone close enough to Gadaffi to shoot him in the head, let one of his underlings who isn’t a true believer take power, someone who will be more willing to retire in a villa in France if things go badly. and we can declare the situation “less worse” and be done with it.

    And if we really can’t have boots on the ground, I suppose there are a variety of alternative footwear.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    After so many, many OTB announcements of problems with the rebels, including that they were Al Qaeda, that they wouldn’t fight, couldn’t fight, were doomed, etc…, this is the first actually worrisome event. Factionalism was what always had me concerned. If they can stick together, they win and Gaddafi loses. If they splinter we’ve got problems.