In new comments today, NATO spokesman Col. Roland Lavoie expressed “surprise” at the resistance of the residents of Sirte and Bani Walid against the attacks by the NATO-backed ‘Transitional Council’ forces.
“It just does not make sense to see what these few remaining forces are doing,” Lavoie said, adding that the loyalist forces have no source of supplies as the NTC forces continue to launch attacks against them.
The NTC has been attacking Sirte for several weeks, and has repeatedly predicted imminent victory in the face of their latest “final assault.” The NTC now says they believe they will control Sirte by the end of the week, though Bani Walid will likely take even longer.
The “surprise” by NATO ignores the recent history of conquests by the Misrata fighters, who are at the head of the offensives against these cities. The Misratans have been behind several of the most brutal purges of suspected loyalists, including the destruction of the entire city of Tawarga. In this context, the fighters in Sirte and Bani Walid likely believe surrender is simply not an option.