The Freedom Group in Libya has released a video showing Libyan air force Brigadier General Ali Atallah al-Obeidi who has apparently defected to them.
In the tape he says he quit because Gaddafi gave orders to kill civilians and as he did not want the blood of his own people on his hands.
It is claimed the former general walked for 15 days from Tripoli to the besieged city of Misrata. It is the only major town in Western Libya where the revolt has not been crushed amid accusations from the rebels that NATO have been too slow with air support for them.
Rebel commander Abdel Fattah Younes said: “NATO did not provide us with what we want. If NATO wanted to free Misrata they could have done that before. We don’t want to bomb in order not to kill civilians. If NATO waited for another week, Misrata would have been finished and there would be no civilians. Its people would have been killed and the international community would bear the responsibility of such a crime.”
On the ground in Misrata there are claims from NATO that Gaddafi’s forces have changed tactics and are hiding behind human shields.
“The ambition and the position of our strikes has not changed. Misrata is our number one priority,” stressed NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero.