NATO says that it will continue operations in Libya after General Qadaffi’s compound in Tripoli was invaded by some 500 well-trained rebels based in the western Nafusa Mountain range. The general’s whereabouts are still unknown but it seems impossible he could leave Libya. The red, black and green flag of the rebellion is flying in Tripoli and the reign of Muamar Qadaffi is clearly coming to an end.
At checkpoints inside the city, rebels placed the ubiquitous canvas portraits of the dictator on the ground for drivers to run over. Loyalist forces, however, are continuing to hit back, Seif al-Islam, the general’s son visited a hotel where foreign journalists were staying. A vicious gunfire ensued and as of Tuesday afternoon continued.
The International Organization for Migration, meanwhile, said that a rescue mission to pluck 300 foreign nationals from the Libyan capital has been delayed by fighting. The Geneva-based group says an IOM-chartered ship will remain off the coast of Tripoli “until security conditions have improved and the safety of staff and migrants can be guaranteed.”
Carol E. Lee of the Wall Street Journal wrote on her blog:
“President Obama spoke with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday about events in Libya, the White House said. The two leaders “welcomed the progress” being made by the opposition and agreed that Gadhafi, along with remaining members of his government, need to “reliquish power once and for all,” according to a White House statement on the call.
“At the same time, they agreed to continue to work with allies and partners in the international community to protect the people of Libya and to support a peaceful transition to democracy,” the statement said. “President Sarkozy joined the president in urging the Transitional National Council to continue demonstrating its leadership by respecting the rights of the people of Libya, avoiding civilian casualties, protecting the institutions of the Libyan state, and pursuing a transition to democracy that is just and inclusive for all of the people of Libya.”
Obama has no plans to make any public statements Tuesday on Libya, a White House official said. He was briefed on Libya on Tuesday morning by his counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, and he will be updated throughout the day “as needed,” the official said.”
And here’s another one from the ol’ Wall Street Journal.
Charles Levinson and Margaret Coker wrote:
Forces loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi battled through Tripoli’s densely populated neighborhoods, attacking and defending patches of territory across the sprawling, and seemingly divided, capital.
Specific districts of Tripoli have become notorious for their antiregime protests during the six months of Libya’s civil war, while other neighborhoods have remained forcibly allied with the leaderâ€”loyal men and families who owe their careers, tribal ties and social positions to Col. Gadhafi. These divisions have erupted in increasingly bloody street fighting this week, threatening a vacuum of power and a Balk.