Armed western military advisers, wearing civilian clothes, have been filmed by Al Jazeera working with Libyan rebel forces near the front lines of Misrata.
The Guardian's Julian Borger and Martin Chulov suggest in a report describing the video that the western military advisers may be members of Britain's elite SAS forces.
"A group of six westerners are clearly visible in a report by al-Jazeera from Dafniya, described as the westernmost point of the rebel lines west of the town of Misrata," Borger and Chulov write. "The group is seen talking to rebels and then quickly leaving on being spotted by the television crew."
"There have been numerous reports in the British press that SAS soldiers are acting as spotters in Libya to help Nato warplanes target pro-Gaddafi forces," the Guardian report continues. "The subject is sensitive as the UN security council resolution in March authorising the use of force in Libya specifically excludes 'a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.'"
The signs of an increasing western role on the ground in Libya come as South Africa's Jacob Zuma arrived in Tripoli apparently to try to broker a ceasefire. Zuma, who was expected to meet with Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, denied that he would be urging Gadhafi to step down.
Meanwhile, a group of eight Libyan military officials recently appeared in Rome saying they represented a group of as many as 120 Gadhafi soldiers who were ready to defect to the opposition, the Guardian reports.
President Barack Obama, meeting with G8 leaders in Europe last week, said they had agreed to increase the pressure of the NATO-led campaign to try to topple Gadhafi. Notably, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said in Deauville last week after meeting with Obama that Russia would also press Gadhafi to step down.
- President Barack Obama
- Al Jazeera
- Dmitri Medvedev
- South Africa s Jacob Zuma