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Libyan Rebel: Toppling Gadhafi Regime on Course

Libyan rebels fire multiple launcher rockets during a fight against pro-Gadhafi fighters near the town of Bin-Jawad, eastern Libya, Sunday, March 6, 2011.

A member of the rebels fighting forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi says their aim to topple his over four-decade rule is on course, after saying that some members of Gadhafi’s tribe in his hometown of Sirte have joined the rebellion to topple his regime.

Awad Juma says the rebels are regrouping to make another attempt to take over the capital, Tripoli, to remove Gadhafi from power. Juma also says the rebels need the international community to enforce a no-fly-zone to, in his words, prevent the regime from killing Libyans who want freedom and democracy.

“Imposing the no-fly-zone [will help} because Gadhafi now is using the air force and this is the biggest damage being done to the resistance. If they impose this no-fly-zone, this will be a great help. Secondly, if they start to recognize the National Transitional Council that will withdraw the rag underneath Gadhafi and other states will start dealing with the National Transitional Council, this is what we want,” said Juma.

“Of course, we need medical help and this is very essential [since] people are dying now from the lack of essential medical treatment; so, this is really what we need.”

Juma says the rebels are determined to overthrow the Gadhafi regime.

“We are relying on the [ordinary] people. We forced him [Gadhafi] out from Benghazi, of Tobruk, of Al Bayda…of Misurata; we can do it in Tripoli as well. This [Tripoli] is the last place for Gadhafi to hide. But, he has got all these mercenaries with him [and] he is using the airports, which means that he has got people now who are willing to fly the airplanes to strike people. Daily, he is retreating and we are going to force him out,” said Juma.

“I’m confident that we can remove him, it’s just a matter of time. Everybody remembers that unarmed civilians started this in Benghazi with bare hands and they forced him out of Benghazi. If we did it in all these cities, we can do it in Tripoli and all over Libya.”

Juma also says the difference between his fellow rebels and forces loyal to the Gadhafi regime is “not the arms every party uses. It’s the hands holding these arms and the hearts behind this. We are fighting for a course, but the mercenaries are fighting for money. This is the difference; so, we can beat them and I am sure and we will soon. It’s just a matter of time.”

Meanwhile, Gadhafi loyalists have carried out multiple airstrikes on targets outside a rebel-held eastern town and have engaged in deadly ground battles with opposition fighters.

Libyan warplanes struck positions around the oil port of Ras Lanuf Monday. One of the strikes wounded at least two people in a car. A day earlier, anti-Gadhafi fighters retreated to the coastal city from the nearby town of Bin Jawwad, following a heavy government counter-offensive aimed at stopping the rebel drive toward Tripoli.