Syria sold out Qaddafi to buy time

Telegraph:
French spies operating in Sirte, Gaddafi's last refuge, were able to set a trap for the Libyan dictator after obtaining his satellite telephone number from the Syrian government, they said.

In what would amount to an extraordinary betrayal of one Middle East strongman by another, President Bashar al-Assad sold out his fellow tyrant in an act of self-preservation, a former senior intelligence official in Tripoli told the Daily Telegraph.

With international attention switching from Libya to the mounting horrors in Syria, Mr Assad offered Paris the telephone number in exchange for an easing of French pressure on Damascus, according to Rami El Obeidi.

"In exchange for this information, Assad had obtained a promise of a grace period from the French and less political pressure on the regime – which is what happened," Mr El Obeidi said.
...
There is more.

As Qaddafi was fleeing his convoy came under attack from British planes.  The French sent the militia to search for him and found him in a drainage pipe.  They later killed him.

It does seem to explain some of the light treatment Assad got early in the rebellion.

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