Libya Rebels Blame Lack of NATO Help for Stalemate

Casualties Mount on Both Sides, But Little Territory Changes Hands

With another failed Gadhafi offensive against the city of Misrata came another series of complaints from rebel fighters in the city, saying that NATO is not offering sufficient support in the seemingly endless conflict.

The Gadhafi regime’s forces hit the city with shells and killed at least a dozen rebel fighters, wounding a number of others. Such attacks are not a serious threat to reclaim the city, but rather reflect the reality of a stalemated civil war, with both sides making largely fruitless offensives that never seem to involve any changes in territory.

NATO for its part has repeatedly escalated its involvement in the conflict, but mostly by launching more attacks against the capital city of Tripoli. These attacks too seem to blow a lot of things up but don’t seem to make any serious changes to the landscape of the war.

And indeed, with NATO forces threatening to expand the war into attacks on the rebels as well, it seems like there is no argument to be made that they have been anything resembling a stabilizing influence. In fact the one change on the ground NATO can likely take credit for is keeping the rebels from accepting African Union attempts to mediate a ceasefire.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.