Libya: Is an Oil Refinery Cafeteria a Legitimate Military Target?

In an article in Monday’s edition of the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera, correspondent Lorenzo Cremonesi reports from what he describes as the former cafeteria of the oil refinery in the Libyan coastal city of Brega: “former” because, according to Cremonesi’s report, it was hit twice over the weekend by NATO missiles. “The tables and chairs that could previously host over 700 persons at a time are now a twisted jumble of burnt wreckage,” Cremonesi writes. A bakery across the street and a nearby internet cafe were also destroyed, Cremonesi reports.

According to the observations of a Filipino employee of the refinery interviewed by Cremonesi, the cafeteria may have been used to prepare bread and other food rations to be sent to Libyan government forces on the nearby front in the direction of Ajdabiya to the east. Cremonesi notes that even gas stations in the area are treated as legitimate military targets by NATO.

According to official Libyan sources, twenty civilians were killed in NATO attacks on Brega over the weekend. NATO insists that it only struck military targets.


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