afrol News, 27 February - As protests go on in the Libyan capital Tripoli, the regime is now only in control of a few neighbourhoods in the city. Except Sirte and the Sabha Oasis, the entire country is in the protesters' hands.
Renewed fighting in some Libyan cities yesterday and today has eliminated the last pro-regime resistance, local sources report. The revolution therefore has consolidated its firm grip on Misrata, Libya's third largest city, and Zawija, located only 50 kilometres west of Tripoli.
Also in Tripoli, most neighbourhoods are now under control of the protesters, despite occasional - but steadily fewer - attacks from armed forces. Especially working class neighbourhoods, such as Fashloom and Souk Juma, now are trying to consolidate their victories against pro-Ghaddafi troops.
Tripoli suburb Tajura, also a district dominated by workers and the lower middle class, now seems firmly in control of the protesters, except for the occasional short attacks from armed units. Tajura has been the main entrance to Tripoli protesters from outside the capital, reinforcing the protest movement.
Even Tripoli International Airport is only partly under the regime's control, with an increasing number of reports speaking of a complete chaos at the airport. Protesters however have shown restraint in the airport area, allowing for foreigners to evacuate the country.
Central Tripoli remains a battle zone, with waves of protesters sudenly appearing, until vehicles with pro-regime forces hunt them down shooting with live ammunition. None of the parties therefore is in control of most parts of the city.
The only parts of Tripoli firmly under the regime's control are some military bases and the upper class residential area where also the Ghaddafi family lives. Other residents in this neighbourhood have
Residents of Tripoli's working class district Fashloom for the core of protesters in the capital
reported that they would want to participate in the protests, but that streets are constantly guarded by armed troops.
The few areas under the regime's control now seem like fortresses, temporarily protecting the regime from its unavoidable collapse. "Ghaddafi is turning into the dictator without a land," Germany's journal 'Der Spiegel' commented.
Outside these few parts of Tripoli, there are only two laces still mostly in control of the regime. This especially includes the coastal city of Sirte, the birth-place of Colonel Ghaddafi. Protesters in Sirte last week had taken control of the city, but were later driven back by troops loyal to the regime.
Sirte is a strategic city on the route between the "liberated" east of Libya and Tripoli. The regime's control over Sirte prevents forces from "liberated" Benghazi from reaching Tripoli and keeps forces in nearby Misrata on high alert over possible attacks, thus also preventing them from helping to "liberate" Tripoli.
The last region still mostly loyal to the Ghaddafi regime is the Fezzan in the south-western desert part of the country. This isolated Berber and nomad region, with a significant part of Libya's oil resources, so far has been mostly calm. However, there have been unconfirmed reports of some unrest in the Sabha Oasis and Ghadames today, challenging the regime.
Especially the Sabha Oasis, the largest settlement in the vast Fezzan region, is seen as important to the Ghaddafi regime, as its military base and airport is said to regularly fly in "mercenaries" - or kidnapped sub-Saharan Africans - to the capital.
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