Libya: it just goes on and on and on

LibyaBattleFlag

LibyaBattleFlagMedia outlets are reporting that rebels in the city of Misurata took control of the city’s airport on Wednesday afternoon. This apparently was the last significant area of the city under pro-Gaddafi forces. The city has been under siege for nearly two months and see-sawed back and forth between loyalist forces and the opposition. Nevertheless, the population of 500,000 are still isolated in the country and in need of food and medical aid.

On Tuesday, NATO airstrikes shook the capital of Tripoli. VOA reported: NATO aircraft conducted raids over Tripoli overnight with government buildings bearing the brunt of the attacks. Libyan officials escorted journalists to the High Commission for Children, which suffered extensive damage. Witnesses in the capital say NATO planes were trying to hit Gaddafi’s compound. A hospital suffered shattered windows after a missile felled a nearby telecommunications tower.

The VOA also said that the first load of non-lethal American military aid arrived on Tuesday in Benghazi for the rebels. The shipment consisted of more than 10,000 meals. Further deliveries are planned which will bring to the opposition medical supplies, boots, and protective gear.

Euronews – May 11/2011

Rebels and troops eye-to-eye in Misrata

Anti-Gaddafi fighters in Misrata are engaged in trench warfare against Libyan government forces. Euronews has exclusive pictures from a fluid frontline as the rebel army make slight gains against a better trained and well equipped foe. Government forces are deploying snipers to keep the rebels pinned down and then hit their positions with shells and mortars. Those opposed to Gaddafi say they are expecting NATO air strikes to target government troops at any time.

Euronews – May 10/2011

NATO night strikes blast targets in Tripoli

NATO aircraft conducted raids over Tripoli overnight with government buildings bearing the brunt of the attacks. Libyan officials escorted journalists to the High Commission for Children, which suffered extensive damage. Witnesses in the capital say NATO planes were trying to hit Gaddafi’s compound. A hospital suffered shattered windows after a missile felled a nearby telecommunications tower.

Opinion

Time magazine has published an opinion piece by Bruce Crumley, Paris bureau chief for TIME, called “Signs of Fatigue and Unease as Europe Struggles with Libyan and Syrian Crises“. The author talks about the supposed weariness of the international community in the various conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East. While the popular uprisings gave hope for change in the region, replacing toppled authoritarian regimes seems harder in practice. There is very much a split amongst the participants as to what to do. Get more involved? Be involved less? Do nothing at all and let the situations play out for themselves. It’s a tough call and even with the best of intentions, the ghost of Viet Nam haunts the world and in looking at Afghanistan and Iraq, nobody needs to evoke Viet Nam. We have enough modern examples to hold up as illustrations of an outside power trying to push its will on a country or a people.

References

Wikipedia: 2011 Libyan civil war

The 2011 Libyan civil war is an ongoing armed conflict in the North African state of Libya being fought between those seeking to depose the country’s de facto ruler and dictator Muammar Gaddafi and hold democratic elections, and pro-Gaddafi forces. The situation began as a series of peaceful protests which Gaddafi’s security services attempted to repress, beginning on 15 February 2011. Within a week, this uprising had spread across the country and Gaddafi was struggling to retain control. Gaddafi responded with military force and other such measures as censorship and blocking of communications.

Wikipedia: Casualties of the 2011 Libyan civil war

Estimates of deaths in the 2011 Libyan civil war vary with figures from 2,000-10,000 given between March 2 and May 3. An exact figure is hard to ascertain, partly due to a media clamp-down by the Libyan government. Some conservative estimates have been released. Some of the killing “may amount to crimes against humanity” according to the United Nations Security Council and as of March 2011 is under investigation by the International Criminal Court.

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