Libya: 2011-2-20

Protestors in Libya are enduring lethal barrages but continuing to protest. It appears patience with peaceful protest has worn thin in many places. In Benghazi, some troops have sided with protestors and protestors now have arms including artillery shells and vehicles. Earlier reports of troops using “anti-aircraft” guns against protestors are true. These are heavy machine-guns mounted on vehicles.

see also BBC

Instead of this being a protest, the situation in Libya is on the verge of civil war. The compound in Benghazi is now being attacked by tanks controlled by the protestors. If it falls, the protestors will have an abundance of every kind of weaponry and arms rather than bodies may decide the result. Gaddafi, of course has more bodies and weapons, but Benghazi armed would be a formidable challenge. Within hours of days, Libya will either step back from the brink of uncivil war or begin some process of rebuilding. It is hard to imagine Gaddafi believing that thousands should die because of him and his regime but so far there is little or no movement on his part except atrocity.

UPDATE
There are reports that rebellion has spread to Tripoli, the capital and troops are withdrawing from Benghazi or being driven out. Perhaps Gaddafi is working on Plan B now.

see http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2011/02/17/live-blog-libya

UPDATE
An eastern tribe has threatened to cut off exports of oil if the attacks on protestors continue. Now that some protestors have armed themselves the protestors seem to be gaining momentum. Many seem to welcome the opportunity to turf out the tryrant. The government has broadcast that the uprisings are a conspiracy by other Arab countries and the Israelis but no one seems to be listening.

see http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/02/2011220232725966251.html

A report from Benghazi states that the military has joined the protest and brought casualties from both sides to hospitals. 300 deaths are estimated in Benghazi.

A report from Tripoli states that security forces are not seen and the protestors have occupied the Green Square.

If Libya follows anything like the pattern of Tunisia and Egypt and Bahrain, this looks like the beginning of the end for Gaddafi.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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