There’s a report that six pickups loaded with ammunition were unloaded from a Qatari plane at Misurata. The rebels seem to use mostly AK-47 and FAL rifles in pictures I have seen so a round of ammunition probably averages something like 200 grains/13 grammes. Six pickups could hold 500 kg or so of ammunition each so we are considering something like 240K rounds of ammunition. That should keep them going a few days… and get them a lot closer to Tripoli.
With this lubrication of the wheels of war, Tripoli could be besieged within a few weeks. At that point we should see whether the population of Tripoli wants to die for Gaddafi or freedom. There have been reports that citizens are armed but I doubt Gaddafi would last long with that being true. The rebels are showing much improved tactics and persistence. With some supplies they can keep increasing the pressure. Shortly, Gaddafi’s freedom of movement within Libya will be extremely restricted and the last choices will be made. I can see the pace of battle increasing as Tripoli becomes surrounded. Gaddafi’s best troops will be pulled back to hold the fort and the rebels will taste victory. If Gaddafi cannot shell the city within which he hides, the end is in sight. In the smaller towns, Gaddafi’s troops have shelled any town in which the rebels reside. They cannot do that if they are trapped in a small circle of Tripoli.
Rather than a war of attrition in Tripoli, I see Gaddafi’s forces turning on him and opening the city. Hiding behind civilians cannot work for long at close quarters in a siege. The civilians will rebel.
Gaddafi’s chief advantages over the rebels has been superior artillery. In a city, Gaddafi can use that to harass rebels approaching the city but once inside, Gaddafi will be limited to mortars and point-blank firing with NATO fighters able to concentrate on a small area with excellent air-support. Basically, Gaddafi’s artillery will become one-shot wonders. NATO will be able to spot firing and follow projectiles with radar. There won’t be any way to hide and to retain effective artillery fire at the same time. Rebels can use buildings as cover and out-maneuver the cumbersome artillery. Mortars are pretty useless against attackers inside buildings. Larger artillery is too big to hide. Embedding it in a building limits its field of fire. The rebels took Misurata despite heavy artillery fire and sniping.