There are reports that progress by the revolutionaries on the road to Sirte has drawn attacks by helicopters and jet fighters. Reports by Libyan state television that the rebels have been repulsed widely should be discounted. Nothing truthful seems to have come from that source for several days.
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We are approaching the end-game of this campaign. Gaddafi still has lots of options but some will be closed off in a day or two:
- air-strikes – use them or lose them,
- layered defence around Tripoli,
- human shields,
- human wave attacks,
- offering to negotiate, and
- hunkering down in his bunker in Tripoli.
Gaddafi has few choices with his air-force. If it cannot stop the advances, he has to disperse the air-force to prevent its destruction or to use it as much as he can as long as he can. When the air-force is gone, he must contract his lines to some arcs in Tripoli. He can combine that strategy by mining roads and using moles and commandos to undermine the revolution but the revolution is still gaining strength. The outcome is not in doubt but the twists and turns remain. We have seen many changing sides. That can be an opportunity for rapid advance or a built-in vulnerability for the revolution. We shall see. The end-game should be defined this week.