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 awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid