In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Libyan govt. troops defect in Misratah

Posted by seumasach on March 13, 2011

The West has forced Gaddafi to stand and  fight, giving him no way out with their legal moves against him. Their posturing in support of the uprising has only served to help him with his claim that foreign forces are behind it all. Despite that Gaddafi will lose the struggle for hearts and minds through the brutality of his attacks on Libyan cities.
13th March, 2011
A group of government troops formerly loyal to embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi has defected to the revolutionary side in the northwestern city of Misratah.
Late on Saturday, the group of government troops joined opposition fighters, who are keeping a tenuous hold on Misratah, which is located 150 kilometers (95 miles) east of the Libyan capital Tripoli, Reuters reported. 

The report of the defections will be another bad omen for the government, whose troops launched several assaults on Misratah last week in an unsuccessful attempt to recapture the city.

However, Gaddafi’s troops now control both the town and the oil refinery in Ras Lanouf, located 380 miles (615 kilometers) southeast of Tripoli.

The assault on the key port city over the past few days is a sign that the Gaddafi camp has regrouped and is attempting to compensate for the setbacks they have suffered since the anti-government protests began on February 15.

On Saturday, the Arab League urged the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to protect the civilian population from the airstrikes launched by the Gaddafi regime’s fighter jets.

However, the European Union has said a no-fly zone would need diplomatic support from international organizations, including the Arab League.

Rising casualties, threats of starvation, and a refugee crisis have put pressure on foreign governments to promptly take appropriate measures against the Gaddafi regime.

Libyan anti-government forces, inspired by revolutions that toppled authoritarian rulers in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, are fighting to depose Gaddafi, who has ruled Libya for over 41 years.

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