Muammar Gaddafi is on the verge of thwarting the three-week old revolution in Libya as his troops and mercenaries continue to reclaim areas initially lost to rebels and revolutionists.
Reports claim that Gaddafi’s forces strengthened their counter-attack on the uprising heartland, shelling rebel positions in the oil port of Ras Lanu and Brega in the east of the country.
“We will never ever give up. We will never ever surrender. This is our country. We fight here in Libya. Libya is not a piece of cake. It’s time for action. We are moving now. Time is out now…we gave them two weeks (for negotiations),” Gaddafi’s son told Reuters in an interview.
Saif al-Islam who had described the pro-democracy rebellion against his father’s reign as a group of terrorists and armed gangsters told reporters that thousands of Libyans are ready to defend Gaddafi’s Libya with their lives.
The International Committee of the Red Cross officially recognized that Libya had descended into civil war with increasing numbers of wounded civilians arriving in hospitals in the east.
In recognition of Gaddafi’s strong hold, U.S. National Intelligence chief James Clapper told reporters in Washington that Gaddafi was “in this for the long haul” and was likely to prevail.
Reporters on the ground have covered scenes of bloodbath, with women and children among the dead prompting Arab countries to delegitimize Gaddafi’s government.
Reuters reported that the poorly equipped rebels have conceded they were struggling to hold ground against Gaddafi’s superior militia. “(Gaddafi) might take it. With planes, tanks, mortars and rockets, he might take it,” rebel fighter Basim Khaled is quoted saying.
And whilst several Libyan opposition forces have demanded the establishment of a no-fly zone, international efforts to stop Gaddafi’s violent resistance have been hindered by the African Union which has rejected any form of foreign intervention.
The AU said it was sending a delegation of five heads of state to Libya soon to try to arrange a truce in the hostilities.
Nonetheless, Gaddafi’s troops, tanks and warplanes have been deployed in the rebel-held east of the country, and the international community deliberates over the wisdom of imposing “no-fly zones” without full legal justification.