Sunday, March 06, 2011

Prolonged Civil War Looms For Libyans Tired Of Khadafi

The situation in Libya shows no signs of ending as Mumar Khadafi refuses to concede that he's lost legitimacy in the eyes of his countrymen, and his thugs continue killing those who he claims are a small minority that is egged on by none other than al Qaeda and the West.

A prolonged civil war looms as the rebel opposition groups continue to be able to fend off Khadafi's assaults, whether by air or on the ground.

Khadafi continues to maintain support in Tripoli, and there are crowds to purport to show that support:

However, there are numerous reports of heavy gunfire in Tripoli, which suggests that the situation is far from settled and that pockets of resistance are found wherever one looks in the country.
Libyan jets targeted rebel-held areas Bin Zawad, oil port city of Ras Lanuf, Misurata and Az-Zawiyah, which lies just 50 km west of Tripoli, Al Jazeera said.

Amid conflicting reports, Libyan state television claimed that shots were fired in celebration of Gaddafi forces having regained control of the cities of Misurata and Az-Zawiyah, a day after anti-government fighters repelled repeated attacks by forces loyal to Gaddafi.

However, residents of Misurata said reports that the city had been recaptured were false, Al Jazeera said.

Faced with international sanctions, 68-year-old Gaddafi in an interview to French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, warned of an "Islamic Jihad" if his regime continues to come under all round attack.

"I want an investigation team of the UN or the African Union in Libya. We will allow the commission to go on the field without any hindrance," he said.

More than two weeks since the uprising began against Gaddafi's 41-year rule, heavy gunfire was heard in the capital today.

The gunfire began at about 0545 local time (0915 IST), BBC reported. The machine-gun and heavy weapons fire could be heard across the city.

Anti-Gaddafi rebels have taken much of the country in the revolt that began on February 15 and have repeatedly denied government claims they have lost towns.
Khadafi also wants the UN to investigate the uprising, claiming that terrorists like al Qaeda or the West are behind the violence, even as the UN looks at imposing sanctions against Khadafi and even war crimes charges for his brutal crackdown against the rebel groups.

Khadafi has shown no reluctance to call in airstrikes against the rebel groups. Yet, those airstrikes aren't stopping the rebels from gaining ground.

The rebel groups are nearly halfway between Benghazi and Tripoli and the key city of Sirt.

Rebel groups are holding a British special forces team, which was apparently tasked with trying to make diplomatic contact with the rebel leadership. That has backfired, but apparently the situation is in the process of being resolved. Expect Khadafi to use that situation to his benefit as a way of showing that foreign forces are behind the uprising, even though the uprising was domestically generated.

At the same time, Khadafi's loyalists continue holding a Dutch aircrew that was trying to evacuate Europeans.

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