Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gadhafi troops repel rebel raid Sirte

Troops loyal to Colonel Muammar Gadhafi halted the rebel advance to tens of kilometers east of Sirte, the hometown of the Libyan leader, who had been bombed at night by the coalition, now under NATO command. At the political level, Qatar's government acknowledged on Monday the National Transitional Council (CNT), the governing body of the rebellion against the regime of Gaddafi, announced Monday the official news agency QNA.

This is the first Arab country to recognize that body, composed of 31 representatives of the major Libyan cities. For his part, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron also expressed political support for the rebellion on the eve of the meeting in London of the Contact Group on Libya.

"Gadhafi must leave immediately", they felt, making a joint appeal to the NTC to establish "a national political dialogue" in order "to organize the transition in Libya." U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy discussed on Monday afternoon by video conference on the situation in Libya, said the French presidency.

Barack Obama should offer this Monday night to his country a televised address to try to win support from its citizens, tired of so many wars, military intervention in Libya. For his part, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, offered to mediate between Gaddafi and rebellion to prevent Libya from becoming a "second Iraq" or "another Afghanistan." Ankara expected to assume management of the airport in Benghazi (east), in the hands of the rebels, to facilitate transport of humanitarian aid to that country.

The CNT said Col. Moammar Gadhafi in Libya will be judged "after the victory" of the rebels, in an interview broadcast Monday by the French television channel France 2. On Monday morning, the government militia patrolled Sirte, a coastal city about 120 thousand inhabitants, 360 km east of Tripoli, which remains under control of forces loyal to the regime.

The calm reigned in the city, with streets deserted and shops closed, AFP noted. The city was again flown by coalition aircraft and shaken by a series of explosions on Sunday night and Monday morning, no anti-aircraft guns into action. A supporter of Gadhafi confirmed Monday to authorities invited journalists to go to Sirte that no rebels approached the city.

And a soldier said: "Ben started forward Jawad", 140 kilometers of Sirte. On Sunday, the rebels had taken the town of Ben Jawad, having regained control of the oil center of Ras Lanuf during their advance with air support of the international coalition. But on Monday moved only a few miles, locked all morning at the exit of Ben Jawad by government forces before moving on road and be taken as targets in a village about 60 km east of Sirte, a journalist found AFP.

The international coalition bombed at dawn Sehba City (750 km south of Tripoli) feud Gadafa tribes, which belongs to Colonel Gadhafi, "causing several casualties," the Libyan official news agency Sana. According to a witness interviewed by the AFP, was violently bombarded the city from 04:00 (02:00 GMT) where several people have fled their homes to seek refuge elsewhere.

Several military sites are located in Sehba, rear base of the regime, where the armed tribes loyal to Colonel Gadhafi. A British forces spokesman confirmed that a British plane had attacked "ammunition depots for supplying government troops carrying out offensives against civilians in northern Iraq, including Misrata." The Libyan regime announced it had ended its offensive against Misrata (west) the third largest city in Libya (210 km east of Tripoli).

"Security" there was re-announced the Foreign Minister not clearly specify whether the city had been retaken by pro Gadhafi troops. The bombing of Libya will remain under coalition control for 48 hours, after which NATO will assume the effective management of operations, said the Alliance, whose planes made their first mission in Libya on Sunday.

Until now, NATO is merely enforcing the air exclusion zone over Libya. NATO and also took charge of the naval embargo to prevent arms trafficking and mercenaries sent to Libya. Representatives from over 40 countries and organizations will meet on Tuesday in London to "support the transition process in Libya." About 500 individuals from Somalia and Eritrea, who arrived aboard two boats from Libya, landed in Malta on Monday, told AFP the army Maltese.

This is the first arrival of European refugees to the island since the beginning of the year, and thus from the beginning of the uprising in Libya in February.

No comments:

Post a Comment