The reports of Libya mobilizing its air force against its own people spread quickly around the world. However, Russia’s military chiefs say they have been monitoring from space – and the pictures tell a different story.
According to Al Jazeera and BBC, on February 21 Libyan government inflicted airstrikes on Benghazi – the country’s largest city – and on the capital Tripoli. However, the Russian military, monitoring the unrest via satellite from the very beginning, says nothing of the sort was going on on the ground.
At this point, the Russian military is saying that, as far as they are concerned, the attacks some media were reporting have never occurred.
The same sources in Russia’s military establishment say they are also monitoring the situation around Libya’s oil pumping facilities.
For further comments regarding Al Jazeera’s allegedly unreliable coverage see Libya: Are the US and EU Pushing for Civil War to Justify NATO Intervention?, by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Voltaire Network, 25 February 2011, chapter "The Politics of Al Jazeera" :
"The Libyan government has shut down the internet and phone lines and an information war is underway. Although one of the most professional news network in the world, it has to be cautioned that Al Jazeera is not a neutral actor. It is subordinate to the Emir of Qatar and the Qatari government, which is also an autocracy. By picking and choosing what to report, Al Jazeera’s coverage of Libya is biased. This is evident when one studies Al Jazeera’s coverage of Bahrain, which has been restrained due to political ties between the leaders of Bahrain and Qatar.
"Reports by Al Jazeera about Libyan jets firing on protesters in Tripoli and the major cities are unverified and questionable. Here to, the reports that Libyan jets have been attacking people in the streets have not been verified. No visual evidence of the jet attacks has been shown, while visual confirmation about other events have been coming out of Libya.
"Al Jazeera is not alone in its biased reporting from Libya. The Saudi media is also relishing the events in Libya. Asharq Al-Awsat is a paper that is strictly aligned to U.S. interests in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region. Its editor-in-chief is now running editorials glorifying the Arab League for their decision to suspend Libya – why were such steps not taken for Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, or Yemen? Inside and outside the Arab World, the mainstream media is now creating the conditions for some sort of intervention in Libya."