Thousands Flee as Sirte Offensive Continues

Humanitarian Disaster Looms as Another Rebel Push Fails

Libya’s rebels just can’t seem to take over Sirte. Despite repeated confident proclamations about the impending conquest of the city, Gadhafi’s hometown is not falling easily, and another rebel offensive today reportedly failed.

For the Misrata rebels looking to conquer the city, it is as much about revenge as it is about mopping up the remnants of loyalist forces, and regardless of the cost in troops or civilians, the offensive seems bound to continue for the forseeable future.

Which could be devastating for the residents of Sirte, as thousands of them try to flee and doctors wihin the city say there are food and water shortages, and even basic medicines have mostly run out.

Getting out of Sirte is vital, but with the rebel forces arbitrarily arresting many of those who flee, attempting to do so carries as much risk as staying. The Sirtans must also remember the city of Tawarga, however, which the same rebel troops entirely depopulated, herded the civilians into a refugee camp, then attacked the camp.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.