Western Attacks Encourage Libyan Rebels to Advance
Encouraged after the Western coalition air strikes against Libyan forces loyal to leader Muammar Gaddafi, the rebels also launched an offensive on Monday, aimed at retaking strategic cities.
Gaddafi's forces near the city of Ajbadiya have been hit by Western warplanes, which encouraged the opposition, The Washington Post reported.
The rebels made a massive push toward the city on Monday when they heard jets in the air and bombardment. However, shortly after their advance, they came under fire from loyalist tank and turned back.
Later, the commander of the opposition said that they plan to wait for more Western attacks before they push forward again.
By Monday, the rebels had taken back control over Zuwaytinah, an oil terminal close to Ajbadiya, which was under control of pro-Gaddafi forces last week.
In the opposition capital Benghazi, anti-Gaddafi spokesman Ahmed al-Hasi said the rebels have planned to march on Tripoli. He added that they would welcome more air strikes, but want to achieve their aims without the intervention of foreign ground troops.
Meanwhile, forces supporting Gaddafi have reportedly opened fire on a crowd in the rebel-held city of Misrata, killing and least nine people.
According to a city resident, the people of Misrata gathered unarmed in the center when Gaddafi forces started shooting at them with artillery and guns.
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