The Other McCain

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Another Daily Libyan Rebels Update: If This Is Wednesday, They’re Advancing

Posted on | April 6, 2011 | Comments Off on Another Daily Libyan Rebels Update: If This Is Wednesday, They’re Advancing

When last we left the Half-Assed Uprising, the ragtag rebels had retreated from Brega yesterday — some reportedly fleeing all the way to Ajdabiya, 50 miles up the coast — after Qaddafi’s forces laid down an artillery barrage.

Today, the Mighty, Mighty Libyan Rebels have resumed the offensive, according to a recap and update from Reuters:

Libyan rebels regained ground in a new advance on an oil port Wednesday but accused NATO of inaction hindering their quest to oust Muammar Gaddafi. . . .
In their eastern heartland, ill-trained insurgents thrust back westwards towards the contested oil port of Brega, recovering mostly desert terrain lost in a pell-mell retreat from Gaddafi’s superior firepower the day before.
Rebels returning to the tiny outpost of al-Arbaeen, midway between Brega and their frontline town of Ajdabiyah, spoke of rocket duels close to Brega’s port as both sides strived to end a ragged stalemate in the oil-producing state’s civil war.
There was little doubt the rebels had made ground after falling back at least 40 km (25 miles) Tuesday but it was impossible to verify accounts that they were closing in on Brega once again.
There were reports of mortar and rocket battles near the town on Libya’s desolate Mediterranean highway 80 km (50 miles) west of Ajdabiyah. Fighting had resumed at daybreak after government forces were resupplied with ammunition and swung east from Brega, rebel officer Mohamed el-Masrafy told Reuters.
“God willing, we are going to try to enter Brega today,” said rebel Idriss Abdel Karim, but he and various comrades complained of a lack of support from NATO bombers.
“(Government forces) are scared of NATO air strikes but NATO doesn’t bomb anything in the first place,” he said.

So it’s “impossible to verify” whether the rebels are actually making headway against “Gaddafi’s superior firepower” at Brega and, I suppose, a few hours from now we’ll have further confusing and inconclusive reports about the situation.

What we can say for sure is that (a) the Libyan rebels have a low opinion of our NATO allies’ military effectiveness, and (b) Moammar Qaddafi is no closer to being overthrown today than he was yesterday.

Oh, and also (c) Brent crude hit a 25-year high of $123 a barrel.


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