News / Africa

    Libyan Rebels Advance on Tripoli

    People celebrate the recent news of uprising in Tripoli against Moammar Gadhafi's regime at the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, early Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011
    People celebrate the recent news of uprising in Tripoli against Moammar Gadhafi's regime at the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, early Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011
    Elizabeth Arrott

    The Libyan rebels' main western force is reported to be on the outskirts of Tripoli, while opposition fighters inside the capital claim they have taken control of several districts.  Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi remains defiant, even as the battle seems to move swiftly against him.

    The Libyan Rebellion

    • February 15, 2011: Inspired by Arab Spring revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, riots break out in Benghazi
    • February 26, 2011: The U.N. Security Council imposes sanctions on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and his family. The International Criminal Court is asked to investigate the crackdown on rebels.
    • March 19, 2011: U.S., Britain and France launch U.N.-mandated air attacks over Libya to halt advances on civilians by Mr. Gadhafi's forces.
    • March 30, 2011: Libyan Foreign Minister, Moussa Koussa, defects and flies to Britain. Other senior officials follow suit.
    • April 30, 2011: A NATO missile attack on a house in Tripoli kills Mr. Gadhafi's youngest son and three grandchildren.
    • June 27, 2011: The International Criminal Court issues arrest warrants for Mr. Gadhafi, his son Seif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi.
    • July 15, 2011: The United States recognizes the Transitional National Council as the legitimate government of Libya.
    • July 28, 2011: Former interior minister Abdel Fattah Younes, who defected to the rebels in February and became their military chief, is killed.
    • August 20, 2011: Rebels launch their first attack on the nation's capital, Tripoli, in coordination with NATO forces.

    Western rebels pushed quickly toward Tripoli on Sunday, overrunning barracks of the elite Khamis brigade, led by Mr. Gadhafi's son. Residents of the capital said gun battles continued during the day and explosions could be heard across the city.

    In an audio address late Sunday, his second in 24 hours, Moammar Gadhafi said he was in Tripoli and vowed to remain with his people "until the end."   He urged residents of the city to take up arms against the rebels, and promised that he and his supporters would win.

    Hours earlier, government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said the city is prepared for a rebel assault."Tripoli is well protected and we have thousands upon thousands of professional soldiers who are ready to defend this city," he said.

    The rebel advance appears to pose the most significant challenge to Mr. Gadhafi in the six months of the uprising.  It is unclear how much support the Libyan leader has in the capital.  Foreign reporters moving toward Tripoli say rebel forces have been greeted by civilians with cheers and rebel flags.

    An official with the opposition Transitional National Council in Benghazi said it has information that troops loyal to Moammar Gadhafi have abandoned their weapons and positions outside of the capital.  He also spoke about rebel groups already in Tripoli.

    Fathi Baji says rebels are approaching the Bab al-Aziza compound, Mr. Gadhafi's headquarters in Tripoli.  That report could not be independently confirmed.  Rebels to the east and south of Tripoli have consolidated recent gains and are trying to push on toward the capital.

    Six months after the unrest began and after numerous set-backs, the rebels appear to be executing a coordinated effort to surround the capital.   They have cut major supply routes, although government forces still hold several regions farther east and to the south.

    Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim called the rebels "armed gangs" whose success, he said, can be attributed to NATO help. "NATO has provided these rebels with weapons.  This is not a secret.  It is the weapons with which they are killing the Libyan people," he said.

    NATO, working under a United Nations' mandate, has waged a five month air campaign against Libyan government forces, after loyalists tried to put down the wide-spread uprising.  Analysts warn that NATO might face difficulties as the battle shifts to the capital, where the alliance has kept up airstrikes on military positions.  Government forces in other towns have taken up posts in residential areas and are expected to do the same in Tripoli, home to at least a fourth of Libya's population.

    Meanwhile, support for Moammar Gadhafi continues to erode.  His former deputy, Abdel Salam Jalloud, has called on the people of Tripoli to rise up against the government.  Jalloud is the third top defection reported in a week.  And neighboring Tunisia, formerly neutral in the conflict, has announced it is recognizing the rebel leadership.

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora