Politics | Human rights
Ghaddafi offensives secure control over Tripoli
Eastern "liberated Libya" has seen the greatest threat to the revolution by now from a major regime offensive against two cities south of Benghazi; the key oil terminal Port Brega and the nearby big town Ajdabiya. The fighting is ongoing, interim authorities in Benghazi confirm.
Revolutionary troops meanwhile have been preoccupied with securing their "liberated" cities, not engaging in any offensive towards Tripoli or Sirte, as they earlier had announced. This has allowed the pro-Ghaddafi troops to dominate much of the terrain outside the "liberated" cities and to regroup to start their new offensives.
Also in the far west, the feared 32nd elite Brigade of Khamis al-Ghaddafi has been allowed to move around freely between the "liberated" towns and cities, as revolutionary troops are concentrating on defending populated areas but not the roads connecting them and the mountain and desert areas in-between.
Read more about the feared Khamis Brigade here.
With a highly disciplined and loyal force, the Khamis Brigade is continuing to engage city after city in the western-most region of Libya, between Tripoli and the Tunisian border. Key towns Zawiya and Zuwara have reported of brutal attacks by the Khamis brigade, mostly being able to fight back the advances.
In this way, the youngest son of Colonel Ghaddafi is engaging protesters and defected troops in the areas surrounding Tripoli, where almost all populated areas have fallen to the protesters. The initial attempts to send armed protesters to Tripoli to support the rebellion in the capital therefore have ceased.
Tripoli, meanwhile, is getting under firmer control of the Ghaddafi regime as reinforcements from other towns and cities fail to arrive. Protests go on in the capital, but are now mostly in groups of hundreds.
For the moment, the Ghaddafi regime's tactic is working. A unified attack on the regime is failing and Tripoli is more in control of the regime than it has been for weeks.
By staff writers
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