Rebels Converge on Gadhafi Hometown of Sirte

With Gadhafi still missing, rebels hope to capture Sirte within ten days

Libyan rebels continued their search for the fugitive former leader Muammar Gadhafi on Sunday, converging on his hometown of Sirte. NATO war planes struck at the town, 300 miles east of Tripoli on the Mediterranean coast, for a third day on Sunday. The rebel leadership plans to take the town by force if “negotiations” fail.

The whereabouts of Gadhafi are still not known, although some rebels suspect he may have retreated back to Sirte, where he still retains a large amount of support. Rebels have attempted to engage in negotiations with tribal elders there, to little avail.

Jamal Tunally, a rebel military commander in Misrata, spoke of their approach: “The front line is 30 km from Sirte. We think the Sirte situation will be resolved peacefully, God willing.”

“We’re going slowly,” spokesman Mohammad Zawawi said. “We want to give more time for negotiations, to give a chance for those people trying to persuade the people inside Sirte to surrender and open their city.” Rebels estimated it would take 10 days to capture Sirte.

Much of Libya is still dangerous and lawless. Crimes of both Gadhafi and of the US-supported rebels continued to be uncovered and every concerned party is fearing a descent into chaos as seen in Iraq after the fall of Saddam.

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Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.