(BBC) Libya rebels recapture key town

Libyan rebels backed by extensive allied air raids have seized control of the frontline oil town of Ajdabiya from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

Insurgents celebrated amid the ruins of tanks and artillery pieces and then moved west to the town of Brega.

Gaddafi loyalists seized Ajdabiya last week as they advanced east to quell an uprising which began in mid-February.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Libya

13 comments on “(BBC) Libya rebels recapture key town

  1. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    This is a very important development. If you look at the map, Libya has very few major trunk roads, and Ajdabiya is at the node of all the roads to the East. With this town secure, it also means that Tobruk and the East is secure.

    If you look at the Libya road system, you can also see why Misurata may be so important – it is also a road node, and there are also two nodes just south of there which if also held, control access to all areas East. Very interesting.

    Preliminary reports are that Gaddaffi’s troops ran amok in Ajdabiya and there are lots of bodies and reports that civilians were taken hostage with the retreating forces. Tragic. Hopefully those who survived will now be safe and able to get medical help. Prayers for them.

  2. kmh1 says:

    It would be good to know if the Nobel Peace Laureate has a strategy for this war.

  3. AnglicanFirst says:

    There is no doubt that Qadaffi is an oppressive dictator.

    But the question begs, if Qadaffi and his government fall, “Who will replace him?”

    Those thinking that a sweet and benevolent government will surely replace Qadaffi’s government should read the following two articles regarding who is in the forefront of Libyan rebel leadership.

    < http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8407047/Libyan-rebel-commander-admits-his-fighters-have-al-Qaeda-links.html>

    < http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/al-qaeda-snatched-missiles-in-libya/story-e6frfku0-1226028543204#ixzz1Hffm5oRa>

  4. Caedmon says:

    [blockquote]Evidence is emerging that United States forces are waging war in Libya on behalf of rebels whose ranks include jihadis who fought against the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports that Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, a leader of U.S.-supported rebel forces in the fighting around Adjabiya, went to Afghanistan in 2002 to fight against the “foreign invasion” — that is, U.S. troops who invaded Afghanistan in retaliation for the September 11 attacks.[/blockquote]

    http://lsrebellion.blogspot.com/2011/03/jihadis-who-fought-us-in-iraq.html

  5. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    #3 and #4
    Thanks for those links, which if true about the SAMS missiles are worrying indeed and accords with what the Gaddaffi regime has been saying. However, I think that as with all information coming out of the area, one needs to check corroboration and the source before taking things at face value.

    The report comes from the President of Chad and also from countries such as Mali, all of which have been accused of supplying the mercenaries who have been murdering Libyans. In addition the Libyan Ambassador to Chad is the first of the list of people sanctioned in UN Resolution Security Council Resolution 1973:
    [blockquote]QUREN SALIH QUREN AL QADHAFI
    Libyan Ambassador to Chad. Has left Chad for Sabha. Involved
    directly in recruiting and coordinating mercenaries for the regime.[/blockquote]
    He couldn’t have been doing that without the knowledge of, if not assistance of the government of Chad.

    Interestingly, this weekend, the African Union is hosting talks with Gaddaffi’s regime in Addis Ababa, supposedly with the free Libyans, with financing from the European Union. The coalition has not been invited, and I don’t know if the opposition have decided to attend. The AU has been funded by Libya for many years, and Gaddaffi is a recent past president.

    So, I would not discount these reports, but given the sources, I would say that cautious scepticism might be in order until independent corroboration is received as many of these sources appear to be very close to the Gaddaffi regime indeed.

    It would be good if this instability were brought to a conclusion as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of terrorists coming through open borders as happened in Iraq.

  6. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    And we still do not have congressional authorization for this illegal war! Obama Rex has not even explained it in a speech to the American people. I have written my representatives and urged impeachment. If Obama Rex wishes to invoke the War Powers Act, he had very well better explain how Libya was engaged in hostilities against the US or how the US was under an immenent threat by Libya. If he does not invoke the War Powers Act, he needs to immediately request congressional authorization for this military action. Failing that, HE NEEDS TO BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE!

    All the nonsense about Bush’s “war for oil” and how it was illegal, etc. is absolute partisan trash! Bush requested and received authorization for his use of military force before engaging in hostilities with Afghanistan and Iraq.

    [blockquote]On September 14, 2001,Congress passed Senate Joint Resolution 23, titled the “Authorization for Use of Military Force.” The Senate passed S.J.Res. 23 by a vote of 98-0; the House of Representatives passed it by a vote of 420-1. The joint resolution authorizes the President “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”[/blockquote]

    We may not agree with president Bush’s policies or believe his justifications for war…but BUSH DID IT LEGALLY, with the overwhelming support and authorization of the US Congress.

    Where does [i]this[/i] president get off initiating hostilities with another soveriegn nation without congressional authorization?!? This is perhaps the single most dangerous development in our nation’s history that poses a direct threat to our constitution and the republic itself. This is EXACTLY the sort of thing that led to the Roman Empire’s establishment of emperors…and that lead to emperor worship. Our nation…and as a result, all of Western Civilization (because despite or financial stupidity, we are the world’s sole military superpower) is under a dire threat. Presidents must not be allowed unilateral war powers. Having an external facade of congressional oversight will not alleviate the fact that a president with war powers (I’m not talking about the War Powers Act here) is an autocrat. He will no longer be a president…he will be a dictator. Does anyone really want a dictator to have thousands of nuclear ICBMs at their disposal? Really?

  7. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    Spoo…typo…”despite [b]our[/b] financial stupidity”

  8. Br. Michael says:

    7, That sums up my feelings. And it reinforces the reality that Democratic opposition to Bush’s war was not the war but the fact that Bush was involved. Hardly principled opposition.

  9. Katherine says:

    While I am in considerable sympathy with commenters who wonder if Mr. Obama has a policy, and what it is, nonetheless the history of the power to “declare war” is somewhat fuzzier than #7 makes it sound. Actions like Reagan’s bombing of Libya and the Clinton-era Bosnian action, for instance, were not preceded by a Congressional vote. What seems beyond question, though, is that it is unwise for a President to embark upon a military venture without Congressional and public approval. If this action does not end very soon there will be serious questions to be answered, and it’s not clear the administration is prepared to answer them.

  10. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    Actually, Reagan invoked the War Powers Resolution (which Obama has NOT done) and justified it because Libya had 10 days prior conducted a terrorist bomb attack against US service personnel at a Berlin disco, killing one and injuring 50 others. He also invoked Article 51 of the United Nations Charter that allows nations to defend themselves from attacks. Reagan made the case that the military action against Libya was an act of self defense. He also made a national speech that very night to the American people to let them know what he was doing and why.

    In contrast, Obama has yet to tell America what this is all about…after a week of our military action. The current Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, has publicly stated that Libya did not pose a threat to U.S. and it was not a ‘vital national interest’ to intervene. So, good luck with trying to invoke the War Power Resolution! He also said the reason we attacked Libya was there was a “potentially significantly destabilizing event taking place in Libya that put at risk potentially the revolutions in both Tunisia and Egypt”.

    So, Obama intervened in a Libyan civil war by bombing a soveriegn nation in order to not allow two other civil wars in neighboring countries to be put at risk. So, we just intervened in 3 civil wars…all without bothering to get congressional authorization, without any vital national interest or threat from Libya, and without even bothering to talk to the American people about it.

    GET REAL! Have just a tiny bit of intellectual integrity! Obama himself said:

    “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

    When Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was running for president, she said of Bush: ““If the administration believes that any — any — use of force against Iran is necessary, the President must come to Congress to seek that authority.”

    So now its all just fine and dandy because it’s a democrat?

    2012 Vote out the tyrant!

  11. Br. Michael says:

    11, that is exactly the case. The only reason that the liberal Democrats are supporting this is because Obama is liberal Democrat. Their support for this war is solely because their guy did it. Same facts, but change the president to Republican they would oppose it.

  12. Br. Michael says:

    And for the record, for what it is worth, I opposed Clinton’s war in Serbia and Bush’s Gulf War II because they failed to get declarations of war.

    I might add that on the issue of supporting your president’s wars and opposing the other sides president’s wars the Republicans do this too. This country deserves better.