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Gaddafi forces capture 17 UK, French and Qatari ‘advisers’ 19, September 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in North Africa, Qatar.
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Reuters is reporting that Gaddafi loyalists have captured 17 mercenaries, as they describe them. Most are French but there are also some from the UK, Qatar and an unspecified Asian country, the initial report notes.

These ‘mercenaries’ are in fact ‘technical experts and consultative officers’ aiding the rebels in their advance on the last pockets of Gaddafi’s troops.

If it is subsequently confirmed, this will mark a potentially significant boost for pro-Gaddafi forces and a commensurate setback for Libya’s new government and its allies, not to mention causing consternation for the UK, France and Qatar.

It could prove to be rather embarrassing and difficult for Qatar, should the reports prove to be correct. It would confirm what has been long suspected and reported on – that Qatar has boots on the ground. And a Qatari getting directly caught up in these troubles many thousands of miles away may contribute to concerns in Qatar as to the significant level of Qatari involvement in Libya.

If some accommodation can be reached, Gaddafi would surely demand a high price given his deranged mental state and his recent toppling from power. This or a rescue operation by UK or French special forces is surely the most likely (positive) outcome.