The War for Libya’s West: More Qaddafi Massacres

The United Nations no-fly zone over Libya so far extends only over the rebel-held east, especially Benghazi. It seems to stop at Ajdabiya, where fierce fighting is reported.

Mandy Clark of CBS reports from Benghazi: says that their correspondent in Ajdabiya, Abd al-Azim Muhammad, reports that the western quarters of the city took tank and rocket fire from pro-Qaddafi forces on Monday, with many homes destroyed.

Aljazeera English reports on Qaddafi’s forces in Ajdabiya, who are “in a strong position,” and on the UN allies’ destruction of the armored brigades that had been heading to commit a massacre in Benghazi.

I take it that the no-fly zone cannot yet be extended to the West because there are still too many anti-aircraft batteries in and around Tripoli, and the planes of the UN allies would risk being downed. That is why the allies continued their bombardment of Tripoli and of other Qaddafi strongholds such as Sabha in the south. Sabha, a town of about 130,000, is a center of the Qadadfah tribe to which Qaddafi belongs.

Under cover of its anti-aircraft installations, the pro-Qaddafi military is waging a fierce battle to take as much of western Libya (traditional Tripolitania) as possible. On Monday, armored brigades launched fierce attacks on Zintan and Misrata.

Libya 3/21/11

Libya 3/21/11

Eyewitnesses told Reuters that 40 pro-Qaddafi tanks had gathered at the foothills near Zintan, and were subjecting the city to bombardment. Civilian homes and a mosque minaret were destroyed. reports that Zintan is surrounded on three sides an fierce battles are ongoing between its people and the pro-Qaddafi tank corps. Late Monday, the tanks were firing on dwellings to the south of the city, destroying some of them. The tanks are positioned to prevent ambulances from making a run with the wounded to Tunisia. Many civilians are fleeing the city, some now living in nearby caves, according to Reuters Arabic. says that at the same time, rebel sources in Libya have alleged that Qaddafi’s forces heavily bombarded Misrata, which lies west of Tripoli and is Libya’s third-largest city. Jamal Salim of the Libyan Youth of Revolution told Aljazeera that Qaddafi’s brigades opened fire with live ammunition on protesters, killing or wounding “dozens.” Misrata residents told Reuters that “the residents of Misrata went into the streets and into the center of the city unarmed, in an attempt to prevent Qaddafi’s forces from entering the city, when those forces opend fire on them with rifles and artillery.” He added, “They committed a massacre and at least 9 people were killed.

Rebel sources also said that Qaddafi’s forces were rounding up civilians from villages near Misrata and herding them with the military convoys as human shields.

The following video claims to show Qaddafi forces’ attacks on Misrata on Monday but could not be verified:

Posted in Libya | 4 Responses | Print |

4 Responses

  1. “40 pro-Qaddaffi tanks.” “Anti-aircraft batteries.” The toys of war. “UN” planes and UAVs drop “smart bombs” and missiles, million-buck-a-pop Tomahawks more or less “hit their targets” and “degrade the enemy’s assets.” New tanks and batteries are delivered FOB Tripoli, and so it goes…

    Let’s not forget the words of Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler, who knew the Beast first-hand: “War is a racket.”

    What I love about the whole international game of Risk! is that active players like QGadhafffiduck or whatever his name is, and his military corps, and of course “the UN forces,” are on the board, all using weapons and uniforms and vehicles gleefully supplied to them by a less-than-visible bunch of industro-terrorists, whose creations make it all possible. Deploying and employing that stuff, all without the smallest insight into the world outside the game, or into the idiot behavior driving the people who keep bringing them crates of ammo and sexy new guns. After seeing stuff like this, link to how you ever going to put the djinn of War back in the bottle?

    Without an endless stream of AKs and RPGs and SAMs and depleted uranium shells and various arcane “electronics packages” and hosts of acronyms to track and master, link to The Game would of course be very different.

    And why is it that all this thought is given to how you change the behavior of the few at the top, to stop the killing and economic anthropophagy of the Lower Orders, and so relatively little is given to the long-running rackets of the Lockheed-Martins and Bofors and General Atomics and all the rest? Do we love the Game so much, love being able to kill and destroy, that we won’t look seriously at a pretty obvious set of fundamentals? link to

    Not, of course, that this once-a-soldier, having experienced a bit of that adrenaline-saturated world of warcraft, has the slightest hope or expectation that humans, with so many of us taking short-term profits from the industry of WAR, always seeking new expansion opportunities following the “world business model,” link to , will ever figure out better ways, until we slam ourselves back into much smaller tribal groups in a much smaller total population… Assuming the war industry, and it is pretty integrated across the globe, aligning itself with national and sub-national groups just to “increase the size of the market” and do a little competing for market share, doesn’t spit out something so lethal that we are all dead — just because the technology is “really cool.”

  2. The entire game-play in Libya is simply an exercise of interest on Libya.s oil. Please leave Libye alone and to protect the Civilian you must first start by disarming the rebels.

    Leave Africa and Libya alone. We are all determine to start terrorism should this continue.

    Take it serious

    • Are you kidding?? Disarming the rebels would mean Gazaffi would simply reduce his population by…what number do you think is acceptable bin safwat? A couple hundred thousand? A million or two? Maybe then Gazaffi will sit around a campfire with the people and sing koombya while sharing his billions with them.
      We are talking about a man who sent armed soldiers into a football stadium during a game to spray the crowds with bullets because they were singing something not to his liking. I think the death toll that time was 50 some. A pretty good start I guess.
      Arming the rebels is the only solution. Not a pretty solution, or “politically correct” maybe, but pragmatic and just.

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