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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More