As the bloody war continues in Libya, Prime Minister David Cameron of Great Britain and President Barack Obama are beginning to hash out a plan for an appropriate response from the west. The rebels, who seem to be suffering serious losses in Zawiyah west of Tripoli and other rebel strongholds, have called for the establishment of a no-fly zone. Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are more inclined to push for a no-fly zone than Obama appears to be at the moment. But as Gaddafi’s troops continue to pound the rebels President Obama’s reluctance will most likely give way to action, which will most likely also include surveillance and enforcement of the present arms embargo.
Rebels Taking to the Rooftops
Reports are arriving of a huge assault on the rebel stronghold of Zawiyah where residents climbed on rooftops with bullhorns calling for their fellow citizens to stay strong and not to back down from the fight just as an armada of tanks poured into Zawiyah’s central square. Intermittent reports from the embattled town where main modes of communication such as telephones, internet and electricity have been cut-off, are describing shells striking residential buildings and mosques while corpses are left lying in the streets.Television footage from Zawiyah, which has been fighting against Libyan troops for the past two weeks, reveal the dead bodies of soldiers lying in the streets and injured people flocking to hospitals.
Rebels Holding Ras Lanuf for the Moment
In Ras Lanuf in the eastern part of Libya rebel forces have had better success keeping control of the town despite at least five air strikes, one of which struck a block of residential apartments.The rebels’ goal is to head west to Tripoli, but they have been met with a show of great strength and devastating firepower from government troops, preventing such a march westward. The rebels decided instead to strengthen their own forces with volunteer fighters and units from the regular Libyan army which have defected to the rebel side.
Pressure Mounting on West
As the rebellion progresses into what looks more and more like a blood bath the pressure mounts on the west to take positive action to prevent such an outcome. In addition, control of Libya’s oil facilities, such as those in Ras Lanuf, is of great concern to western powers. British foreign secretary William Hague said to MPs that he is thinking about pushing for an international action to remove billions of dollars of Libyan oil monies away from Colonel Gaddafi and giving control of them to the United Nations.A similar action, known as the oil-for-food system, was taken against Saddam Hussein in Iraq. The new plan would necessitate a decision by the UN Security Council. At the moment the UN is also under intense pressure to enforce a no-fly zone over Libyan air space to prevent Gaddafi’s use of crushing air power against the rebels, civilians and oil facilities and ports.