Thursday, January 29, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Libyan forces bombard rebels in the east and west

Libyan supporters of Moammar Gadhafi celebrate Tuesday in Tripoli's Green Square following the announcement on state television that Ghadafi's forces took the eastern city of Ajdabiya.

EDS NOTE RECROP XJD106 - Following the announcement on Libyan state television that Moammar Gadhafi's forces took the Eastern city of Ajdabiya, Gadhafi supporters celebrate on Green Square in Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday March 15, 2011. Government forces struck the rebellion's heartland with airstrikes, missiles and artillery on Tuesday, trying for the first time to take back a city that serves as a crucial gateway for the band of fighters who threatened his four-decade hold on power. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) . (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

By
March 16, 2011 |

TOBRUK, Libya (AP) — Moammar Gadhafi’s forces intensified offensives in the east and the west Wednesday with relentless shelling aimed at routing holdout rebels and retaking control of the country he has ruled with an iron fist for more than four decades.

As Gadhafi’s forces advanced on their eastern stronghold, the rebels lashed out at the West for failing to come to their aid.

“People are fed up. They are waiting impatiently for an international move,” said Saadoun al-Misrati, a rebel spokesman in the city of Misrata, the last rebel-held city in the west, which came under heavy shelling Wednesday.

“What Gadhafi is doing, he is exploiting delays by international community. People are very angry that no action is being taken against Gadhafi’s weaponry.”

An international diplomatic push to create a no-fly zone to prevent Gadhafi from bombing civilians has so far failed, although French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Wednesday that several unspecified Arab countries have pledged to participate in possible military action in Libya.

Residents fled the strategic city of Ajdabiya, 480 miles southeast of Tripoli, as a bombardment continued for a second day and a breakdown in rebel defenses threatened to open the gateway to the long stretch of eastern Libya that has been in the control of the opposition throughout the monthlong uprising.

Rebels braced for a possible attack on the next major city in the east, Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city and the birthplace of the monthlong rebellion, which began with protests in the city by opposition activists emboldened by successful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

Gadhafi’s son, Seif al-Islam, warned the rebels the regime was closing in on them and urged them to leave the country.

“We don’t want to kill, we don’t want revenge, but you, traitors, mercenaries, you have committed crimes against the Libyan people: leave, go in peace to Egypt,” he said in an interview with Lyon, France-based EuroNews television. “Military operations are over. Within 48 hours everything will be finished. Our forces are almost in Benghazi. Whatever the decision, it will be too late.”

Mustafa Gheriani, an opposition spokesman, said rebels in Benghazi would be ready for an attack.

“A large percentage of Benghazi’s population is armed. Can Gadhafi bomb the city? Sure he can. Can he go in? I don’t think so,” he told The Associated Press. “Also, I think it is too far for his supply lines.”

Gheriani said anti-aircraft equipment has been deployed, and the army mobilized, although he didn’t know where. There have been few signs in recent days of the rebels digging in defensive preparations on the city’s outskirts.

An activist hiding out in the city said the rebels were lightly armed but managed to ambush a group of regime troops marching into the city on foot late Tuesday, but the victory was short lived. Artillery shelling was ongoing, he said.

“The rebels set a trap and managed to take over four tanks, but now I see none of them,” Abdel-Bari Zwei said when reached by telephone. “Ajdabiya is witnessing unprecedented destruction. This is the end of the city.”

Residents in Ajdabiya fled either to tents set up outside the city or 140 miles (200 kilometers) northeast to Benghazi.

“The shelling hasn’t stopped since last night. The residential areas are under attack,” Zwei said, adding that the hospital had been overwhelmed and many of the injured had to be taken to Benghazi.

The city was besieged from the west, where Gadhafi’s brigades were deployed from his stronghold of Sirte, and from the north with a warship in the Mediterranean Sea.

“The city is sealed off from the south, from the west and the northern Zwitina port by a warship,” he said.

Libyan state television aired calls for the opposition to stop fighting, apparently hoping to sway populations in the east away from support of the rebels.

Ajdabiya has been a key supply point for the rebellion, with ammunition and weapons depots. Until now, the Gadhafi forces’ offensive toward the east has battled over two oil ports on the Mediterranean Sea, and Ajdabiya is the first heavily populated city in the area they have tried to retake.

Its loss was a major setback to the rebels, who less than two weeks ago were poised to march on Tripoli, the capital, and had appeared capable of sweeping Gadhafi out of power, inspired by successful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. But the regime’s better armed and organized military has reversed the tide.

Oil prices rose to above $98 a barrel Wednesday in Asia as fears that clashes in Libya and the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain could further disrupt crude supplies outweighed concern Japan’s disaster will crimp demand.

Gadhafi’s forces also launched an attack on Misrata — which for days has been under a punishing blockade, its population running out of supplies. The barrage came a day after the government recaptured the last rebel-held city west of Tripoli, solidifying his control over the coastline from the capital to the Tunisian border.

“There is coordinated shelling by Gadhafi’s brigades firing artillery and machine guns from three different city entrances,” rebel spokesman Saadoun al-Misrati said, speaking by satellite phone.

He said the shelling began at 7 a.m. and regular telephone lines had been cut.

France was pushing for rapid action as supporters of a no-fly zone over Libya worked to persuade Russia, Germany and other reluctant members of the U.N. Security Council to back a resolution aimed at stopping Gadhafi’s planes from bombing civilians.

The French foreign minister wrote on his blog Wednesday that France and Britain have sought targeted air strikes for two weeks and said two conditions are necessary: a Security Council mandate for such force and “effective” participation by Arab states. “Several Arab countries assured us that they will participate,” Juppe wrote, without elaborating.

————

By Ryan Lucas and Maggie Michael

Michael reported from Cairo. Associated Press writer Anita Snow at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Work continues to modernize Davis Healthcare Center

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    Holman continues to educate and inspire

    By Daniella Tutino | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    ‘Huck’ and ‘Tom’ float old Arboretum dock to removal

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Teens arrested after midnight joyride

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Biologists: Raising California dam would harm salmon

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Overweight video game avatars ‘play’ worse than fit ones

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Meet the mayor for coffee at Peet’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Author joins radio show

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Make your own SoulCollage on Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Walk through Quail Ridge Reserve on Feb. 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Calling all chicken owners: Apply for coop crawl, share information

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Hopmans named associate vice provost for global affairs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Tips to protect skin this winter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Review motivation to refresh your healthy-habits plan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    For health and healthy appearance, there’s just one quick fix

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Measles outbreak grows

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    NAMI-Yolo examines inpatient services at potluck

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Basement living, with attitude to match

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    50 years since Ash Hall

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Can climate change bring us together?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Paso Fino coming to a vote

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    Aggies still looking for record hoops win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Blue Devil Hammond has a huge day at home

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Pent up? Join Davis’ latest athletic event

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Two in a row for Devil boys

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD roundup: Aggie football players crack the books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Youth roundup: Harper hoopsters off to hot start

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Treys send Toronto past Kings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

     
    College Corner: Have wanderlust? Go overseas for college

    By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: A8

    District learns from bomb threat incident

    By Kellen Browning | From Page: A8

     
    It’s Girl Scout Cookie time!

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Feenstra-Fisher wedding

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Arts

     
    A rose by any other name — if there is one

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A11

    Acclaimed guitarist Adrian Legg to play at The Palms on Saturday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Show explores the evolution of dance

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    James George Tingus

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, January 29, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B6