Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Qaddafi retakes Ras Lanuf, while West mulls arming rebels

"... The rebels have now lost the key oil port of Ras Lanuf and the nearby town of Bin Jawad. However, reports say the fighting is continuing in the area. In the west, the rebel-held town of Misrata is still coming under attack from pro-Gaddafi troops, reports say.
US President Barack Obama earlier said he did not rule out arming the rebels. Mr Obama told reporters on Tuesday that Col Gaddafi had been greatly weakened by the coalition air strikes and would ultimately step down.
As the fortunes of the Libyan opposition forces rise and fall there is a growing concern within the coalition that its air power may not be enough to prevent the rebels' defeat. This could lead to the atrocities already threatened by Col Gaddafi. Given the clear disparity of military power between the two sides, there is already talk within some coalition countries of effectively setting aside the apparent restrictions of the UN arms embargo on Libya, to arm and train the rebel fighters. The fact that this debate about arming and training the rebels has started at all is a sure sign of a wobble in the coalition camp; a fear that the defeat of Col Gaddafi's forces may not be inevitable even with the huge dose of coalition air power..."
this brings us back to question: who are the rebels? The US remembers well that in the 1980s it armed the 'Afghan Mujahideen', and the rest became history....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As Kevin Drum at Motherjones reported there appear to be only 1000 trained rebels. When the NFZ was first enforced the rebel leaders said they had 8,000 fighters but it appears they were exaggerating.