This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Muammar Gaddafi’s forces are pushing relentlessly eastward and it is looking more and more like the tide has turned against the rebels. State television claimed that Ajdabiyah had been retaken which would leave a mere one hundred kilometres to the opposition stronghold of Benghazi. Britain’s Independent quoted a rebel as shouting, “Where is the no-fly zone?” however despite all the talk in diplomatic circles sympathic towards those rebels, nothing concrete has been done and they remain very much on their own in the fight against their former leader.
In a scathing article in the Guardian today entitled “Europe fiddles as Libya burns” by Simon Tisdall, an assistant editor of the Guardian and a foreign affairs columnist, he writes, “Disagreement between European countries over Libya has moved from the merely embarrassing to the wholly humiliating“, then goes on to talk about the disagreements between EU members over what to do. His telling remark about this is, “Once again, Europe is being forced to confront an unpalatable truth: unless the US takes the lead, nothing gets done.” Tisdall points out that sanctions, freeing assets, an arms embrago, and loudly proclaiming that Gaddafi must go contributes nothing on the ground. And it is very much on the ground that the rebels are suffering.
March 12: Rebels give up Ras Lanuf.
March 13: Loyalist forces move east from Ras Lanuf towards Brega.
March 14: Brega is at a stalemate; loyalists hold the oil refinery, rebels holding the residential district. On the western front, loyalists take Zuwarah.
March 15: Loyalists claim Brega.
Al Jazeera – Mar 15/2011
Al Jazeera’s Tony Birtley, reporting from Benghazi, has the latest on the developing situation in Libya.
Al Jazeera – Mar 15/2011
Inside Story – Who is winning the Libyan conflict?
[This video is 25 minutes long. It isn’t a “clip” but a complete televised program.]
In recent days, rebel groups have been hit hard by pro-Gaddafi forces. The situation on the ground remains uncertain, but latest reports suggest those loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, the Libya leader, have recaptured Azzawiya – 30 km to the west of Tripoli. The frontline is now moving towards the east. Just who is winning this conflict? And are hopes that the Libyan leader would be ousted proving premature?
The Guardian – Mar 15/2011
Europe fiddles as Libya burns by Simon Tisdall
Disagreement between European countries over Libya has moved from the merely embarrassing to the wholly humiliating, after Germany again blocked Anglo-French no-fly zone proposals at a G8 meeting in Paris. The EU’s Libya debacle is now the foreign policy equivalent of last year’s eurozone meltdown, and similarly damaging to its global credibility and influence. Once again, Europe is being forced to confront an unpalatable truth: unless the US takes the lead, nothing gets done. Europe has not been entirely passive in the face of Muammar Gaddafi’s accelerating counter-attack on rebel forces. The EU has imposed sanctions, frozen the assets of leading figures and backed an arms embargo. It has also loudly proclaimed that Gaddafi must go. But these measures have made no appreciable difference on the ground.
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