After lifting the seige at Marsa al Burayqha young hot-heads loaded up pick-ups and headed down the road to Ras Lanuf to push Gaddafi’s supporters further away from Benghazi. Thankfullly, some cooler head suggested getting off the main road giving Gaddafi’s air and ground forces a dispersed target. They fought an all-day battle for Ras Lanuf and prevailed.
Next stop is Sirte which is a stronghold along the coast highway. Gaddafi will be able to give much more air-power to that battle because it is closer to Tripoli. I hope the boys of the revolution have done enough learning on the job to survive and to fight effectively at Sirte. They could be spared that sacrifice if nearby powers take air-supremacy and give some ground-support. That could be arranged in a week, long enough for more training and building command-and-control systems.
UPDATE There is more detail in a report on the BBC. Destroying tanks is serious business. Go rebels!
An update from Al Jazeera paints a picture of the Gaddafi forces using artillery on Az Zawiyah. Many have been killed or wounded but Gaddafi’s forces were driven out by the destruction of tanks. It appears the rebels have superior numbers and spirit. How long they can hold out remains to be seen. They will eventually run out of supplies even with their numbers. The city has 100K people and 10K fighters. The fact that Gaddafi has resorted to artillery shows that he cannot just roll into town and assert control. He has to destroy it first. It could be weeks for the other rebels to come to life the siege. They are going to need air-supports as soon as possible.