Sunday, 14 August 2011

Battle for Libya: Rebels advance on several fronts

Zawiya City Center Freed by the Rebels

Libya rebels control Zawiyah centre -Reuters reporter
Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:15am GMT

ZAWIYAH, Libya Aug 14 (Reuters) - Rebel fighters are in control of the centre of the town of Zawiyah, about 50 km (30 miles) west of the Libyan capital, a Reuters reporter in Zawiyah said on Sunday.

The reporter said he could see about 50 rebels near Zawiyah's main produce market shouting "Allahu Akbar!," or "God is greatest!" The red, black and green rebel flag was flying from a shop.

Rebel fighters told Reuters there were still forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in the town, including snipers. The sound of occasional gunfire could be heard, but no heavy fighting.

The position is the closest the rebel frontline has been to Tripoli since the uprising against Gaddafi began. Holding Zawiyah would give the rebels control of the coastal highway, the main link between the capital and the outside world. (Reporting by Michael Georgy; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Peter Graff)

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Third Area of Brega Captured by FFs 11-8-2011

Rebel Killed in Tuarga Clashes, But Rebels Say Close to Taking Brega

Rebel Killed in Tuarga Clashes, But Rebels Say Close to Taking Brega

Source: Mahmoud Jebrel Denies Claims that Shoukri Ghanem was appointed as new Oil Minister of NTC

Taken from facebook page
Agency urgently Libya / Benghazi - special - correspondent
Private / denied Mahmoud Jibril, head of the office of the Executive Council of transition to the reporter and the agency urgently Libya, reports the news about the appointment of Shukri Ghanem, a former oil minister in any position of the National Assembly, transition, and Gabriel said he could not set the figures worked post-revolution with the Qaddafi regime then announced his defection at least in the current period, as Gabriel said to the reporter and the immediate agency of Libya issued a decision yesterday that he return all the members of the Executive Office to work again, except on the official al-Issawi of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Salem senile official Awqaf and Religious Affairs.

Featured Video

Tunisia: 11 Defectors from the Gaddafi regime arrive

Translated off Google Translate. Arabic article is here:
Lightning | Libya - Tunisia | Tunisian newspaper said that 11 officers of the Libyan army defected from forces loyal to Gaddafi, managed to flee to Tunisia, across the sea in the past were repeated during the last few weeks is remarkable. The newspaper "Sabah" Tunisia on Thursday that these officers, including a brigadier, and arrived on board a small boat to the fishing port "Alkatif" Bnqirdan civilians from the province, about 550 km south of Tunis.
The newspaper did not provide additional details about the split of these officers, only pointing out that members of the Tunisian National Guard (Gendarmerie) were met with these officers, and recorded their words and then handed them over to one of the international humanitarian organizations operating in southern Tunisia.
He admitted Brigadier Army Tunisian Mokhtar Ben Nasrallah on Thursday during a meeting with a number of journalists at the government in Tunis, said his country received many officers and noncommissioned officers and soldiers, the Libyans since the outbreak of the crisis Libya on 17 February. He did not specify Brigadier Ben Nasr number of these officers and soldiers, the Libyans, He pointed out that there are groups of them stripped of their weapons entered and still enter in person to the Tunisian territory from the sea or through some desert tract.

Article from Reuters. Link:

Libyan rebels capture eastern part of Brega -spokesman

Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:56pm GMT
[-] Text [+]
BENGHAZI Aug 11 (Reuters) - Libyan rebels have captured the residential districts of Brega but soldiers loyal to Muammar Gaddafi still hold western parts of the town where the oil facilities are located, a rebel spokesman said on Thursday.
"It is liberated. It is under our control now," spokesman Mossa Mahmoud al-Mograbi said of the eastern part of the town.
An area to the south of Brega had also been captured though clashes were still going on against about 100 Gaddafi soldiers in the west of the town, he said.
"We are sure we will defeat them," he said.
It was not immediately possible for a Reuters correspondent to verify the capture of Brega and rebels have repeatedly claimed to have seized towns in the past, only to be quickly repelled by Gaddafi's forces. (Reporting by Robert Birsel, writing by Lin Noueihed; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

Libya Updates August 11, 2011

Updates taken from:

4:00pm: NATO insisting its airstrike killed soldiers and mercenaries, not 85 civilians as state-run TV claimed. NATO spokesman Col. Roland Lavoie said the Libyan claim of civilian casualties in an airstrike near the western front-line town of Zlitan “was not corroborated by available factual information at the site.”
NATO aircraft hit a staging base and military accommodation 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of Zlitan, Lavoie said from the operational command in Naples, Italy. Four buildings and nine vehicles within the compound were struck with precision-guided munitions, he said.
3:00pm: Rebel forces in western Libya drove their offensive north toward the town of Zawiyah near the Mediterranean coast on Thursday, trying to get within striking distance of the capital, Tripoli.
They pushed north to a settlement called Bir Shuaib, taking them within 25 km (15 miles) of their target of Zawiyah, a town less than 50 km from Tripoli, the stronghold of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
“We’ve gone past Nasr village and right now we’re about 25 km from Zawiyah,” said Faris, a rebel fighter. Rebels prevented reporters from getting up to the new front line to see for themselves.
Evidence of help from NATO air strikes was seen at the village of Shalghouda, on the route of the rebel advance.
11:00am: Swedish police stormed the Libyan embassy in Stockholm on Thursday after a small group of anti-Gaddafi protesters had occupied the building earlier in the day. It was not immediately clear if any of the protesters or police had been hurt.
A police spokesman had said earlier that a five or six people occupied the embassy at around 11 a.m. (0900 GMT). The protesters hung the flag of the Libyan rebel movement outside the embassy and also painted the door of the building with the rebel flag.
10:00am: Libyan state television on Thursday said Prime Minister David Cameron was using “Irish and Scottish mercenaries” to tame riots in England. “The rebels of Britain approach Liverpool in hit-and-run battles with Cameron’s brigades and mercenaries from Ireland and Scotland. God is Greatest,” said a breaking news caption on Libyan TV’s morning program.
9:04am: Libya’s rebel council said it is hoping to have an envoy in Ottawa soon.
Ali Aujali, the U.S. envoy for Libya’s National Transitional Council, told Postmedia News the council wrote to the Canadian government to request that an NTC envoy take over the country’s now-shuttered embassy in Ottawa after Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird expelled the four remaining diplomats on Monday.
The diplomats were given five business days to vacate the embassy and leave Canada. The remaining four diplomats were the last batch of dignitaries to leave. Five others were asked to leave in May. At least one of the diplomats expelled on Monday has made a claim for refugee status. Read full story here.
8:00am: The Libyan leader, at war with rebels and a British-led Nato campaign after he used the military in an attempt to crush protests, attempted to turn the tables on Mr Cameron.
Khaled Kaaim, Libya’s deputy foreign minister, accused the Government of having declared war on the British people.
“Cameron and his government must leave after the popular uprising against them and the violent repression of peaceful demonstrations by police,” said Mr Kaaim.
“Cameron and his government have lost all legitimacy. These demonstrations show that the British people reject this government, which is trying to impose itself through force.”
7:51am: Tunisia has intercepted five truckloads of fuel set to be smuggled into neighbouring Libya, an official said on Wednesday, in a move to curb an illegal trade which is helping to keep Muammar Gaddafi in power.
International sanctions and the effects of Libya’s civil war have disrupted normal supplies of motor fuel to parts of the country under Gaddafi’s control, but huge volumes of gasoline are instead being smuggled across the Libyan-Tunisian border.
A spokesman for Tunisia’s Interior Ministry said the trucks were seized at the weekend in the town of Msaken, in the Sousse region about 160 km (100 miles) south of the Tunisian capital.
“The police seized five trucks of gasoline (destined) for the pro-Gaddafi side,” said the spokesman. “They were heading for Libya but the police stopped the trucks.”
Amateur footage posted on video-sharing site YouTube by Libyan opposition activists purported to show the trucks which were seized.

5:05am: Libya’s rebels said on Wednesday they were on the verge of capturing the coastal oil town of Brega, in what could be a decisive step toward unlocking the country’s oil wealth and forcing out Muammar Gaddafi.
“This is the most important place for the oil,” rebel field commander Faraj Moftahi told Reuters behind the frontline, which runs through sand dunes topped with scrub to the east of Brega.
From a hill overlooking a turquoise Mediterranean, rebel artillery shells could be seen sending up clouds of dust and smoke on the town’s northern edge. Gaddafi’s forces responded with an occasional shell or rocket.
Moftahi said his men had already ventured briefly into the town and he hoped to move in in force in the next day or so.

Huge Benghazi Rally

These photos were taken during the "March of Millions" in Benghazi. Date: July 4, 2011.
Areas of Benghazi include: Birka, Seedi Ehsaen, and AlKeesh.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Libyan opposition says it is about cto take control of Brega

  (*NOTE: This was translated using Google translate. This was taken from the Reuters arabic website. Link is here: *)
Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:51pm GMT
Near Brega (Libya) (Reuters) - A Libyan opposition said on Wednesday it is about control of the coastal town of Brega oil in what may be a critical step toward the reopening of the oil wealth and forcing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to leave.
The field commander in the ranks of the opposition keys Faraj told Reuters near the front line, which passes through the sand dunes cover the peaks of low trees to the east of Brega that this town is where the most important for the oil industry.
It is a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea were observed artillery fire by the opposition forces, which are sent clouds of smoke and sand on the northern edge of town. Gaddafi's forces responded by firing rockets and artillery at times.
Keys and said that his men had sneaked into the town already for a short period and that he hoped to enter with full force on Thursday or Friday.
And help NATO warplanes to attack the opposition forces Gaddafi Brega on an almost daily basis, said keys that progress must be coordinated with NATO.
Following the opposition's control of the town would have to continue to creep westward, where the oil port is located 15 kilometers to the west of the town.
Keys and said that it is necessary to strengthen the opposition and the presence of its troops and then collected for the creeps to Misurata port controlled by the opposition in the West.
Libya member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries OPEC's third-largest oil producer in Africa and has the largest reserves in the continent. Libya was producing 1.6 million barrels per day before the outbreak of the Intifada on the rule of Gaddafi's 41-year-old in February.
Brega is one of the oil ports, which overlooks the sea without a job.