Reports: Gadhafi Forces Capture Eastern Town of Brega

Key Seaport, Oil Facilities Fall to Regime

Reports coming out of Libya today suggest that the sparsely populated but strategically valuable seaport town of Marsa Brega (also called al-Burayqah) has fallen to the Gadhafi regime’s forces, suggesting that the rebel capital of Benghazi also could soon be at risk.

Regime forces on Friday captured Ra’s Lanuf and over the course of Saturday continued to advance eastward along the coast, pushing back the rebel forces, which just weeks ago appeared to be on the brink of taking the entire country.

The rebels were reported to have fled Brega, which is also the site of valuable oil facilities, in the face of heavy shelling. The loss of Brega has the rebels falling back to Ajdabiyah, which they expect to be besieged in the next hour or so.

Ajdabiyah is something of a last line of defense, largely analogous to Zawiya in the west. The city is the last major one between Brega and Benghazi, the rebel capital, and also has a road leading to the key rebel city of Tobruk. If it falls, and the momentum seems to be strongly on the regime’s side at the moment, the rebels will be facing a desperate fight in the last of their territory.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.