http://www.blogger.com/logout.g Lex Petros: Libyan conflict intensifies

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Libyan conflict intensifies


Security forces have tried to retake the eastern town of Al-Zawiyah where the oil refineries are situated. Right now, Libyan authorities are said to be assuming that they have control of the West. Rebel fighters are armed no less.
Whilst the world superpowers condemn the use of force by Libyan security forces on civilians, Gaddafi has some allies who will not take a hard stand against the embattled leader.

Former Cuban president, Fidel Castro opines that there will be a US-backed invasion lead by NATO to take the country's oil. Venezuela and Zimbabwe has not publicly criticized Libya. Venezuela in particular, has close links to Iran and have made somewhat a tepid offer to mediate. Last week, the UN Security unanimously passed a resolution to impose several embargoes to Gaddafi, his family and assets.

The Libyan Transitional Council chair and spokesperson are contradicting each other on talks with the current regime in what appears to be a framework to waive criminal prosecution in exchange for stepping down and making a departure. Liberty for relinquishing power. Somehow the proposed trade off probably would not sit well for a lot of people. The war crimes against his people, against humanity will not blow away with the wind.

Security forces are stepping up the assaults and the casualties are mounting by the day. Benghazi correspondents have reported sporadic gun fire whilst the eastern Libya is raining bullets. Looks like a civil war is inevitable, or rather, this is a civil war in infancy. The east is in the grasp of the opposition and some western parts are reported to be under rebel controls. Intense fighting is reported in Zuwiyah and there is practically no way in, even a communications blackout.
Anti-rebel forces have amassed and surrounded Ras Lanuf which was taken by anti-Gaddafi rebels a few days ago. It only stands to reason that this is a matter of time. The rebel forces will not be able to hold out for long without aid. They are close to being outgunned and out numbered.

What the UN Security Council has to do is decide on the no-fly zone which was been talked about. Military force would be hard to push up with Russian and China possessing veto power in the Council. The no-fly zone may not be feasable as current tactical assessment places Gaddafi ground forces as the real threat and jets would have difficult targeting Libya's fleet of attack choppers at low altitudes. Of course, imposing a no-fly zone may tantamount to an act of war.

More than three quarters of a million civilians have sought asylum from neighbor Tunisia and Egypt. More are still leaving the country for fear of a full blow civil war so long as Gaddafi refuses to relent and continues his onslaught.

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