Since February Gadhafis bourgeois regime has brutally sought to crush a popular uprising and defeat rebel forces in a six-month-long civil war. Taking advantage of the situation to further imperialist economic and political interests in the region, governments led by Washington, London, and Paris launched a military assault on Libya in March with the aim of replacing Gadhafi with a government more to their liking. Planes under NATO command had conducted some 7,500 airstrikes as of August 20.
Opposition forces that day took the key oil refinery town of Zawiyah, some 30 miles west of Tripoli. They then rapidly moved toward the capital, meeting virtually no resistance and capturing a base on the edge of the city of one of Gadhafis top military units. More than 300 prisoners were freed, reported Al Arabiya.
Mahmoud al-Ghwei, 20, joined the rebel convoy on its way to the capital. Now were going to get rid of Gadhafi and get our freedom, he told Al Arabiya. In the industrial suburb of Tajoura, residents set up a field hospital and joined others, arms in hand, to beat back assaults by Gadhafi loyalists, the Wall Street Journal and wire services reported.
Rebel fighters swept into Tripoli August 21, holding a rally in Green Square, where daily pro-Gadhafi rallies had been staged. Jubilant residents honked horns, set off fireworks and stomped on posters of Gadhafi, reported the Washington Post. The next day government forces struck back in parts of the city but suffered a decisive blow when Gadhafis compound was largely taken.
Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the opposition Transitional National Council based in Benghazi in eastern Libya, has said the council is ready to take control. He, like some other council members, was part of Gadhafis government until breaking earlier this year. The council has supported the massive NATO air assaults, collaborating with French and British special forces and CIA operatives on the ground to organize the attacks.
NATO stepped up bombardments in and around Tripoli, hitting 22 targets August 20, with assistance of six armed U.S. Predator drones, reported the Post. According to Pentagon figures, Washingtonwhich since April has organized key military support but left most airstrikes to London and Parisnearly doubled air attacks on Libya August 11-22, compared to sortie strikes the previous four months.
According to the New York Times, an unnamed senior U.S. military officer said that small teams of American military and other government weapons experts are making contingency plans to enter Libya to take control of weapons stockpiles.
An international force
is likely to be needed for some time to restore and maintain order, wrote Richard Haas, president of the Council of Foreign Relations, in the August 22 Financial Times. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé has called for a special meeting of the Contact Group on Libyaled by the imperialist governments conducting the airstrikesto discuss their next steps.
Demonstrations shake Israel along with illusions about it
Protesters in Syria defy murderous regime
Israel not exempt from class politics
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