News / Middle East

    Libyan Opposition Fights Pro-Gadhafi Forces in Zawiya

    An armed man stands on top of a captured tank in Zawiya, 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Tripoli, in Libya Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011.
    An armed man stands on top of a captured tank in Zawiya, 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Tripoli, in Libya Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011.

    Multimedia

    International pressure is mounting on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to leave Libya, but he told an American television network that Libyans love him and he has no plans to step down.  Meantime, U.S. officials have come out with their strongest statement yet that Mr. Gadhafi must go, and anti-Gadhafi forces in Zawiya say they are repelling troops loyal to the Libyan leader.

    Zawiya is 50 kilometers west of Tripoli.  Witnesses tell VOA that troops and tanks loyal to Moammar Gadhafi are lined up along the coastline, blocking the city's access to the sea.  

    One man who says he is a protest leader  told VOA what happened Monday evening as pro-Gadhafi forces tried to enter the town. "Security militia that protects Gadhafi launched an attack from the west side of Zawiya.  What happened then, we managed to kill three armed militiamen and destroy their car.  The rest of them fled," he said.

    Another  man said protesters in Zawiya have few weapons and he does not think Libyans alone can topple Mr. Gadhafi. "I think there has to be outside intervention.  Forces should close on him, arrest him and rid the Libyans from him.  Because as the situation goes on, we will witness daily massacres.," he said.

    The Obama adminstration on Monday increased its condemnation of Mr. Gadhafi.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "Gadhafi has lost the legitimacy to govern and it is time for him to go without futher violence or delay."

    But Moammar Gadhafi told ABC News he plans to stay in Libya because his people love him. "They love me, all my people with me. They love me, all. They will die to protect me, my people. No, no," he said.

    This is what Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, has to say about that. "It sounds just frankly delusional. When he can laugh and talk to American and international journalists while he is slaughtering his people, it only underscores how unfit he is to lead, and how disconnected he is from reality," she said.

    VOA has received this video posted on YouTube.  The time frame is not known, but it appears to show Mr. Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, promisings weapons to supporters.

    "They are saying that the police have run away.  But today, we will prove the opposite that police are with Libya.  Do you need weapons?  You will receive all the support, all the facilities and weapons.  Everything will be okay and you will be victorious," he said.

    But Saif al-Islam Gadhafi denied to ABC News that the government has been ruthless with the Libyan people. "Show me a single attack.  Show me a single bomb.  Show me the casualties," he said.

    VOA spoke to one woman in Libya via Skype. She says the proof is in the local hospitals.  "A man who was hit with an RPG [rocket propelled grenade] in his chest.  I saw pictures of a man who was hit with a 14 and a half anti-aircraft weaponry. These are weapons that are supposed to be used on aircraft, not human beings," she said.

    The woman asked that we not show her face. She says everyone is tense where she lives, even though forces loyal to Mr. Gadhafi have switched sides to help residents. "They are volunteers that are setting up and the police and army have joined forces with the protesters.  The police officers are stationed throughout the city," she said.

    The woman told VOA she does not know what will happen next in Libya. All she wants is to be free and for her child to be safe to play on a playground.

    Mideast Unrest 2011 on Dipity.

    Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    Carolyn Presutti

    Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters. She has also won numerous Associated Press TV, Radio, and Multimedia awards, as well as a Clarion for her TV coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, Google Glass & Other Wearables, and the 9/11 Anniversary.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Kaine Project Optimism in First Joint Campaign Event

    Kaine, a moderate, has potential to attract voters repelled by Donald Trump and those who may have a hard time fully embracing Clinton

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora