LONDON, Aug. 18 (UPI) — Sources were conflicted about the status of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and whether he and his family are planning to leave the country.
The rebel-backed Transitional National Council in Libya has gained diplomatic momentum in recent weeks, securing recognition as the sole governmental authority in Tripoli from several Western governments.
Military gains have moved slower though rebel forces were said to be near Tripoli.
Libyan and Arab sources to London’s pan-Arab daily newspaper Asharq al-Awsat said Gadhafi sent an adviser to Mali and Tunisia with the aim of “securing a safe exit for Gadhafi and his family from Libya.”
TNC officials who spoke with the newspaper on condition of anonymity suggested Gadhafi is in poor health, which the report said suggests explains his low public profile.
Separate sources close to the Gadhafi family didn’t comment on the health of the leader and rebel sources didn’t provide any specific details about his health.
Gadhafi is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes allegedly committed since February. Several sources, both pro- and anti-Gadhafi, suggested to the newspaper that the developments didn’t necessarily suggest a significant shift in momentum, however.