Bashar al-Assad skal ha røpet Gaddafis satelitttelefonnr. til franskmennene som dermed var i stand til å lokalisere og følge Gaddafis bevegelser. Frankrike ønsket Gaddafi død fordi han truet med å røpe hvor mye han bidro til Nicolas Sarkozys valgkamp.
Sources quoted by Corriere della Sera said one reason for the French lead in the operation was that then President Nicolas Sarkozy wanted Gaddafi dead after the Libyan leader openly threatened to reveal details of the large amounts of money he had donated to Sarkozy for his 2007 election campaign.
«Sarkozy had every reason to want to get rid of the colonel as quickly as possible,» Western diplomats said, according to the newspaper.