Conflict & Justice

Libyan leader Gaddafi running out of cash and fuel


With rebel forces seizing Libyan pipelines, strongman Muammar Gaddafi is finding himself running out of money to support the country and Libyan soldiers.


John Moore

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is facing dramatic shortages of fuel for his soldiers and citizens in Tripoli, and he is running out of cash to pay his forces and what is left of his government, according to the latest U.S. intelligence reports.

The news come as France's foreign minister claims Gaddafi is close to agreeing to a negotiated end to the conflict, Euronews reports.

But France's parliament has just voted for an extension to its participation in NATO operations in the country, believing now is the time to remain firm, it says.

Rebel forces that captured towns from Nalut to Kikla in Libya's western Nafusa mountains cut a vital crude oil pipeline that feeds one of the government's major refineries in the town of al-Zawiya, U.S. officials told the Associated Press.

They cited U.S. intelligence estimates that fuel shortages could occur within a month.

The cash shortage follows Turkey's move last week to seize hundreds of millions of dollars held in the Arab Turkish Bank, the U.S. officials said.

They spoke on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, France's foreign minister, Alain Juppe, says Paris has had contact with emissaries of Muammar Gaddafi who say the Libyan leader is prepared to step down.

It is not immediately clear if the offer is credible or whether it amounts to a potential breakthrough in the Libyan crisis.

A NATO spokesman however said that bombing would continue, even through the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in August, so long as Gaddafi's forces attack civilians, AFP reports.

Gaddafi has refused to give up power since U.S. and NATO forces began bombing the country in mid-March support of anti-government rebels.

Today, Human Right Watch accused rebels of committing abuses against civilians, Fox News reports.

The Human Rights Watch report, based on interviews with local fighters and residents, said that after seizing towns, rebel forces torched a number of homes believed to belong to Gaddafi supporters. It also said rebel forces had ransacked shops and looted supplies from medical facilities, Fox News reports.