Tripoli Falling?

In the ongoing battle for Libya, a disquieting stalemate that has all but stopped regular news updates. Really, there hasn’t been much to say – that, or only a few hours later the entire story changes. For the many towns that have been under heavy fire for the past few months, the only thing one can really update on is the rising number of refugees and casualties. 

However, there are reports that things in Tripoli are finally starting to heat up. Tripoli, the capitol of Libya, has remained at the forefront of most Libyans minds. It has often been remarked that if Tripoli falls, the war would soon be over. It is, after all, the administrative head of the Libyan government and the home of Gaddafi and his family members.

Early on May 10, NATO seemed to step up their bombardment, as numerous explosions were heard in the capitol city. While Gaddafi’s state-run news reported that NATO fighter jets had shelled a children’s center, the actual word is that they were going after the main command center of Gaddafi’s army. Despite strikes further afield, Gaddafi’s army is still managing to bombard cities like Misurata with near-constant shelling.

There were also reports of strikes at the state-run news agency JANA and a compound that Gaddafi is believed to have stayed at on a number of occasions. Libyan officials accompanied journalists (as per usual) out to the area of the strikes. There were no reports of casualties, but very clean, white bandages wrapped around very tidy looking individuals were shown on JANA as proof that the evil West is out to destroy the lives of your average government patsy.

Meanwhile, there have been a few reports that quietly defecting soldiers are beginning to arm rebels in the outer suburbs of Tripoli. Other reports have stated that there have been full-fledged uprisings on the outskirts of Tripoli that have garnered a full media quarantine of the area. It’s been very difficult for reporters to make out what is occurring in the area, as they are not allowed access and Gaddafi’s henchman naturally deny that there is any trouble.

However, there were reports, as late as 2:00 p.m. on May 10, that the rebel flag was being hoisted over the Meaitiga Air Base in Tripoli, which does give some level of substance to the claims that Tripoli is finally starting to rise up. Also, delegates from a number of Libyan councils have recently sided with the Libyan Transitional Government, which is currently operated from Benghazi. The new government, which has been recognized by a few European and Middle Eastern governments as the only legitimate government of Libya, has been gaining both support and praise for their adherence to democratic principals.

As the war in Libya continues, it’s important to remember that the fighting has only been going on since February. In the way of deadly, revolutionary wars, that is not a particularly long period of time. However, many believe that Gaddafi is quickly running out of time, and it’s a good thing, too, because there is still the issue of starvation and refugee status for the civilians who are left to fend for themselves. Shortages have been reported throughout the country, and many are literally risking their life to escape the war-torn region. As pressure mounts and NATO vows to increase their air strikes, we can only hope it spurs the final round in the battle for Libyan freedom.

By Olivia Marudan

Cad. Boondoggler. Swindler. Ass. Plagiarist. Hutcher. A movable feast in the subtle culinary art of shit talking.

Leave a Reply