NATO airstrikes struck a command and control center at Moammar Gadhafi's compound in Tripoli on Saturday, as the newly created rebel administration warned it was fast running out of money because countries that promised financial aid have not come through.
TRIPOLI – An alliance spokesman said NATO fighter jets struck Gadhafi’s Bab al-Aziziyah compound in Tripoli in the early hours Saturday. He said the Libyan leader was not a target and there was no way to know if he was there at the time of the attack.
The spokesman said that around noon a vehicle storage area in the same area was hit.
The strike sent a shuddering boom through Tripoli and rattled windows. Such a daylight attack is fairly unusual since NATO began its aerial attacks over Libya three months ago.
Airstrikes over the past week have pounded the large barracks area that lies close to the Gadhafi compound. The same compound was badly damaged by U.S. warplanes 25 years ago in response to a bombing that had killed two U.S. servicemen at a German disco.
Saturday’s airstrike came after leaders at a summit of the Group of Eight world powers reiterated that Gadhafi had to leave power.
Russia, a leading critic of the NATO bombing campaign and one-time Gadhafi ally offered to mediate a deal for the Libyan leader to leave the country.
Speaking at the summit in Deauville, France, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, said he was sending an envoy to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi immediately to start negotiating, and that talks with the Libyan government could take place later.
National Transitional Council head Mustafa Abdul-Jalil told reporters in Benghazi on Saturday that the rebels would accept negotiations led by anyone willing to find a solution, though they will accept nothing less than the departure of Gadhafi and his sons.