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France-UK campaign to oust Gaddafi from Libya a disaster, says spy chief

July 11, 2023 at 8:14 pm

Former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi at the UN headquarters on 23 September 2009 in New York City [Mario Tama/Getty Images]

The French-inspired campaign with Britain to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi in 2011 was a disastrous error, according to France’s spy chief in Libya at the time, the Times reports.

According to the report, the story of the secret operations to bring down the Libyan dictator has been told by Jean-Francois Lhuillier, a former Tripoli station chief of the Directorate General for External Security (DGSE). His book has angered the Secret Service, where he worked for 27 years.

Lhuillier, 69, a Lieutenant-Colonel at his retirement in 2014, has also embarrassed the DGSE by revealing the dysfunctions of an Agency that has enjoyed fame with The Bureau, the television series about its operatives, the report added.

The book called “The Tripoli Man: Memoirs of a Secret Agent and media appearances”, Lhuillier describes executing what he calls the incomprehensible decision by President Sarkozy to back rebels against Gaddafi, after he had built a relationship with the mercurial tyrant.

“The military operation was brilliantly run but it was not thought through politically and had disastrous consequences. There was trickery, because Gaddafi was extending his hand to the West. Not only didn’t we grasp the hand that was being extended to us, but we also cut the head off. I find that completely immoral to have done that,” he told France 2 television, the report added.

READ: Gaddafi is an idea that does not die