Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, the youngest son of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, has been killed by a NATO air strike, along with three of the grandsons of the infamous Libyan dictator. The news broke out of Tripoli where government representatives told Western journalists of the latest development in Libya. The information has not yet been confirmed by any NATO sources from Italy or by the White House. The Libyan leader was allegedly in the house when the missile attack occurred, but he and his wife managed to escape unharmed.
The attack comes days after colonel Gaddafi stepped up his public discourse by making direct threats against NATO forces and the Italian government (who has recently joined NATO forces in an attempt to protect civilians in the north-African country).
NATO representatives have repeatedly argued that their mission is to protect Libyan civilians but the latest development might suggest that the removal / neutralization of Gaddafi might also be on the table.
Despite this recent event, one can still argue that NATO is acting within the boundaries of its mandate. The allies have been targeting command offices in Tripoli from where strategic missions and attacks are carried out by the Libyan forces fateful to the incumbent regime. However, these are the same locations frequented by the colonel himself.
What this suggests is that NATO is undergoing its mission while probably hoping that colonel Gaddafi will be an “accidental casualty” in the war.
Some Western journalists located in Misrata report public ovations, “cheers and dancing” as news that colonel’s son was killed in the NATO strike reaches the city.