Both sides are digging in for a prolonged conflict and despite the rebels being outgunned, they're continuing to more than hold their own. Khadafi's airstrikes have continued to inflict damage on the infrastructure and taken its toll on civilian populations.
Khadafi has warned that he would fight any attempt to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. The opposition continues calling for a no-fly zone, which would give the rebel groups an advantage over Khadafi's forces, who have used those airstrikes to fend off rebel advances. Snipers continue taking their toll on civilians in Zawiya.
Meanwhile, the tanks of pro-Gadhafi forces were closing in on the rebel-held main square of Zawiya Wednesday and their snipers were shooting at anything that moved, rebels and residents said.
Bodies lay unrecovered in the ruins of many buildings destroyed in air raids earlier in the week. There were few people in the streets of the center of the city of 200,000 and it was not possible to verify the reports independently.
Video: Gadhafi strikes force rebels to regroup
"We can see the tanks. The tanks are everywhere," a rebel fighter told Reuters by phone from inside Zawiya, which lies 30 miles west of Tripoli.
The fighter, named Ibrahim, said forces loyal to Gadhafi were in control of the main road and the suburbs of Zawiya, which in the past three days has become the focal point of a civil war on two fronts to oust the regime.