Monday, August 8, 2011

Libyan Rebels Fight On As Embattled Leaders Form New Government

The Libyan opposition vowed today to form a new government and clean up its image in the aftermath of a top general's assassination, but the political upheaval did not keep rebel fighters in the west from getting inside of 50 miles from Tripoli.

Backed by captured tanks and other armor, the town of Bir al-Ghanam was overrun by rebel fighters over the weekend by opposition forces based in the Nafusa mountains. The key town is about 49 miles from Moammar Gadhafi's capital of Tripoli.

NATO warplanes helped pave the way for the rebels in Bir al-Ghanam, as well as the two other fronts: The eastern oil port  Brega and the Gadhafi loyalist stronghold of Zlintan in central Libya, the rebels said.

Over the weekend, Qatar flew in five truckloads of weapons and ammunition In a daring airlift into the captured airport outside that central coastal Libyan city. The equipment and ammo is for rebel fighters from Misurata battling Gadahi forces in Zlintan.

Gadhafi's son and senior military commander Khamis has yet to be seen since rebels claimed he was killed in the battle of Zlintan by a NATO air strike late last week.

On the political front, rebel Chairman Mahmoud Jibril, who heads the Transitional National Council in Benghazi, agreed today to dissolve his cabinet as a result of the murder two weeks ago of commanding Gen. Abdel-Fattah Younis.

"It was clear the Cabinet needed to be reshuffled after military, security and media incompetence," said national council member Fathi Turbel.

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