The Libyan rebel council is launching a campaign of arrests nationwide (or at least the portion of the nation they control) against militia factions which refused to obey their demands to operate under the council’s control, terming the dozens arrested “Gadhafi supporters.”
This included an attack on the eastern border village of Josh, which has long since been emptied of residents but was occupied by a militia faction. The rebels briefly captured the village, but after “several hours of fighting” they abandoned it once again, showing how difficult concrete territorial gains are to make in the long civil war.
Efforts to root out unofficial militias as “Gadhafi loyalists” started yesterday, when troops attacked a license plate factory in Benghazi, killing four members of a rival faction which refused to disarm.
The moves seem to be sitting quite well with NATO, as France has announced that it is sending another $259 million of “assets” to the rebel council. There is growing concern, however, that the council’s moves toward centralization, particularly when they aren’t making any inroads against Gadhafi, are just creating more enemies.