Libya Rebels Seize Brega, Advance on Gadhafi's Tripoli

Gadhafi's grip said to be cracking
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2011 6:30 AM CDT
Libya Rebels Seize Brega, Advance on Gadhafi's Tripoli
Women take part in Friday prayers in the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011.    (Alexandre Meneghini)

Things are looking ever more grim for Moammar Gadhafi: Libyan rebels today said they've gained total control of the oft-captured oil port of Brega, reports the AP, after sealing their grip on its industrial section. This follows Thursday's capture of Zawiyah and Tunisian reports that Gadhafi's longtime No. 2 has defected, and puts rebels just 30 miles from Gadhafi's stronghold in Tripoli. The New York Times notes that his grip there shows signs of cracking.

“It is much quieter today than yesterday and the day before,” says one resident of Tripoli, where previously fearful citizens tell the Times they thought Gadhafi's downfall could come quickly. “The situation is getting really tough now.” Battles in surrounding areas have largely cut off Tripoli from supplies, and the humanitarian situation there is said to be deteriorating, with soaring crime and food costs. But one US official says that intel is sketchy: “Clearly, the regime is feeling the pressure, and the opposition is gaining ground each day. (But) how or when that translates into a tipping point or what the endgame might look like is hard to determine. Gadhafi might not know what he’s going to do from one day to the next.” (Read more Moammar Gadhafi stories.)

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