Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Battle for Tripoli Begins as Rebels Lay Siege on Gadhafi Stronghold

It's on!

Rebel forces are battling their way into Tripoli today to the cheers and support of Libyans welcoming the freedom fighters determined to capture the capital city and topple Moammar Gadhafi and his regime once and for all.

After six months of fighting that often has favored Gadhafi, rebel brigades closed in on the outskirts of Tripoli, sending notice to residents that the regime is the enemy, not the civilians. Gunfire is reportedly being heard all around the city, most of which is without power this evening.

There were reports that young people in the city are rising up to join the revolution born out of the Arab Spring pro-democracy freedom movement, according to rebel dispatches. Shots have been heard outside Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound.

President Obama is being kept abreast of the developments in the definitive battle to wrest control of Libya from Gadhafi. It is a crucial moment for the President, who inherited the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but owned the Libyan revolution when he joined France and Britain in launching a daunting air assault against Gadhafi. Not a single American has been killed in the Libyan war.

Rebel victories this week in Zawiya to the west of Tripoli, Zlintan to the east and Gharyan to the south along with NATO warships to the north in the Mediterranean Sea have allowed the powerful alliance to surround Tripoli.

The regime claimed all-is-well in Tripoli in an absurd announcement on government tv that harkened back to the "everything is fine" whoppers told by Saddam Hussein's spokesman, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, better known as Baghdad Bob, as U.S. tanks and humvees rolled into the Iraqi capital May 1, 2003.

"All of Tripoli is safe and stable," Gadhafi spokesman Moussa Ibrahim told state tv.

Libyan rebel political leader, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, told a very different story, however.

"All evidence shows that the end is very near, with God's grace," the chairman of the Transitional National Council told reporters.

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