Politics & Policy

The Push Toward Sirte

The fulcrum in Libya right now is Sirte:

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi are in heated battles with rebels trying to advance west toward Gadhafi’s hometown and stronghold of Sirte.

Foreign journalists said an onslaught Tuesday by the pro-Gadhafi fighters forced the rebels to retreat farther east. They reported rocket and machinegun fire near the town of Bin Jawad where rebels are scrambling. The battles came after pro-government forces drove the rebels back with heavy tank and artillery hits late Monday.

[. . .]

Sirte is dominated by members of the Libyan leader’s Gadhadhfa tribe. But many in another large local tribe, the Firjan, are believed to resent his rule, and rebels are hoping to encourage them and other tribes there to help them.

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