See also:
» 29.01.2013 - Libya peace very fragile, warns UN
» 31.03.2011 - Libya's Foreign Minister defects
» 24.03.2011 - How cyber-activism lent savvy to North African protests
» 18.03.2011 - Ten nations ready to attack Ghaddafi regime
» 18.03.2011 - Africa defies AU chief's support for Ghaddafi
» 18.03.2011 - France: We can start bombing Libya tonight
» 17.03.2011 - Libya rebels shoot down fighter jets
» 15.03.2011 - Ghaddafi thanks Germany, Russia and China

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Politics | Human rights

Ghaddafi offensives secure control over Tripoli

Tunisian border: Thousands of Libyans and foreigners flee the fighting

© Islamic Relief UK/afrol News
afrol News, 2 March
- During the last 48 hours, the Ghaddafi regime has launched its two greatest offensives against the "liberated" areas, with some success. Much needed aid for Tripoli protesters fails to reach the capital.

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.

Air force troops, still loyal to Colonel Ghaddafi, yesterday succeeded in an attack on "liberated" oil town Port Brega, briefly taking control of the town and its strategic airport. Eyewitnesses say the pro-Ghaddafi troops were shooting randomly at civilians in the town.

From Port Brega, the airborne troops continued their attack on Ajdabiya, a major town inland and north-east to Brega, on the main road towards Benghazi. Sources in Ajdabiya confirm that the town has been bombed in the surprise attack. Unconfirmed sources speak of several deaths and injured.

Today, protesters in Port Brega report they have managed to chase the pro-Ghaddafi troops out of the town. However, a police commander in "liberated" Benghazi emphasises that the attack has not been completely repelled. The airborne troops still control the Port Brega airport, he said, enabling them to continue their attacks on eastern Libyan cities.

The surprise attack on eastern Libya has caused great unrest in nearby Benghazi and Al-Bayda. The military committee in Benghazi says it has decided to counter the Ghaddafi offensive, mobilising troops to protect their city and sending tens of military vehicles and soldiers towards Port Brega to engage the pro-Ghaddafi troops.

The attack on Port Brega and Ajdabiya comes after pro-Ghaddafi troops were allowed to strengthen their grip on the strategic city of Sirte - the birth place of Colonel Ghaddafi and place on the main road between Benghazi and T

Photo of Khamis al-Ghaddafi from his Facebook profile

© Private/Facebook/afrol News

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.

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