Libyan Rebel Commanders Can't Stand Each Other

'They behaved like children' at meeting
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2011 2:43 PM CDT
General Abdel Fattah Yunis, commander of Libya's rebel forces, holds a press conference at a hotel in Benghazi on March 13, 2011.   (Getty Images/AFP)
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(Newser) – As rebel fighters suffered battlefield defeats last week, the movement's ad-hoc leadership council called a meeting of its three top commanders and discovered something disheartening: They can’t stand each other. “They behaved like children,” committee head Fathi Baja tells the New York Times. What’s more, the three commanders—former Interior Minister Abdul Fattah Younes, former general Khalifa Heftar, and former defense minister and political prisoner Omar el-Hariri—had no good explanation for their recent defeats.

By the end of the meeting, Heftar had resigned, saying he refused to work for Younes, a former close friend of Moammar Gadhafi’s. Afterward, a shouting match broke out between Heftar’s supporters and a rebel leader, forcing one lawyer to run around separating people. “At least they’re not shooting each other,” one man at the meeting deadpanned. Yesterday, the situation grew murkier still: Heftar’s son said his dad was still an army leader, and one adviser said field commanders were being polled to determine who should lead the army.

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