Rebels losing grip on key city

Despite increased support from NATO planes in a couple of areas, the rebels appear to be losing the battle to maintain control of the strategic city of Ajdabiyah, considered the gateway to their unofficial capital of Benghazi.

In two other flash points - Misrata and Brega - NATO planes seem to be making a difference, although Misrata is a humanitarian disaster and the opposition can only hold their ground outside of Brega.

Reuters:

Rebels cowered in alleyways from sustained artillery, rocket and small-arms fire and appeared to be losing control of the town, which is gateway to their stronghold of Benghazi 150 km (90 miles) up the Mediterranean coast to the north.Ajdabiyah had been the launch point for insurgents during a week-long fight for the oil port of Brega further west and its fall would be a serious loss.

[...]

Gaddafi's artillery shelled the western approaches all morning and two rockets landed in the center in the middle of the day. There were long exchanges of small arms fire.

The streets were deserted as insurgents guarded various crossroads and dashed around in pick-ups.

The mostly untrained rebels have tried to reorganize and re-equip but were unable to hold ground last week against Gaddafi's better-armed forces in the fight for Brega.

Gaddafi appeared on TV for the first time in nearly a week, confident and chipper. And why not? His regime still seems as solid as ever, and he is winning on the ground despite his forces taking a pounding. Analysts in the west are now openly talking about a partition for Libya - something the rebels reject and Gaddafi won't even discuss.

Notice that Obama has gotten his wish; Libya has now been consigned to the back pages of the news. NATO is finding it can't be everywhere at once - a sign that the rebels may need more help than NATO is willing to offer in order to remain viable.

 

Despite increased support from NATO planes in a couple of areas, the rebels appear to be losing the battle to maintain control of the strategic city of Ajdabiyah, considered the gateway to their unofficial capital of Benghazi.

In two other flash points - Misrata and Brega - NATO planes seem to be making a difference, although Misrata is a humanitarian disaster and the opposition can only hold their ground outside of Brega.

Reuters:

Rebels cowered in alleyways from sustained artillery, rocket and small-arms fire and appeared to be losing control of the town, which is gateway to their stronghold of Benghazi 150 km (90 miles) up the Mediterranean coast to the north.

Ajdabiyah had been the launch point for insurgents during a week-long fight for the oil port of Brega further west and its fall would be a serious loss.

[...]

Gaddafi's artillery shelled the western approaches all morning and two rockets landed in the center in the middle of the day. There were long exchanges of small arms fire.

The streets were deserted as insurgents guarded various crossroads and dashed around in pick-ups.

The mostly untrained rebels have tried to reorganize and re-equip but were unable to hold ground last week against Gaddafi's better-armed forces in the fight for Brega.

Gaddafi appeared on TV for the first time in nearly a week, confident and chipper. And why not? His regime still seems as solid as ever, and he is winning on the ground despite his forces taking a pounding. Analysts in the west are now openly talking about a partition for Libya - something the rebels reject and Gaddafi won't even discuss.

Notice that Obama has gotten his wish; Libya has now been consigned to the back pages of the news. NATO is finding it can't be everywhere at once - a sign that the rebels may need more help than NATO is willing to offer in order to remain viable.

 

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