TRIPOLI – NATO is planning raids on Ras Jedir, a border post with Tunisia, to open the way to a rebel advance, Libya’s government spokesman said on Sunday.
“We have information that NATO is planning intensive bombardments of the Ras Jedir border post to help the armed bands, some of whom are positioned on the Tunisian side, to enter Libyan territory,” Mussa Ibrahim told AFP.
He described the North Atlantic alliance’s intentions as “very dangerous,” pointing out that Ras Jedir was a crossing point for “thousands of Libyans, including women and children.”
“By bombing it, NATO will be committing a new massacre,” Ibrahim said, warning against an “illegal act.”
He declared: “We salute the Tunisian government and we encourage it to make more efforts for Tunisia not to transform itself into a departure point for aggression against Libya.
“We salute the Tunisian people who have prevented the unloading of a cargo of arms” destined for Libyan rebels in the south Tunisian port of Zarzis, he went on.
Ibrahim called on the United Nations to “denounce and condemn the arms traffic to Libya from Tunisia, which violates UN (Security Council) resolutions 1970 and 1973.”
The Ras Jedir frontier post has for several months been the only exit point for the Libyan regime of Moammar Gadhafi, hit by international sanctions.
Tunisian Interior Minister Habib Essid had on Thursday denied that arms from Qatar for the Libyan insurgents were passing through his country, though he admitted that “the security situation is still fragile” and “police patrols are insufficient.”
Qatar, which is part of the international military operation against the Gadhafi regime, finances one of the refugee camps in Tunisia which has a hospital at Tataouine in the south and access to which is controlled by the Tunisian army.