Libya Rebels Tout Capture of Zawiya: Is This Rebels’ Latest Failed Offensive?

Tripoli Looms Deceptively Close in Latest Rebel Offensive

Libyan rebels today raised the flag over the strategically important town of Zawiya, not far from Tripoli. The move has some rebels insisting that they will soon be attacking the capital city of Tripoli, and ousting the Gadhafi regime.

Of course, this boundless confidence is nothing new, and rebels have repeatedly predicted an offensive to be a “game-changer” only to watch their gains quickly evaporate in a counter-offensive, which itself runs out of steam and leaves the status quo intact.

The apparent capture of Zawiya came after reports of fighting in the city, though the regime’s heavy armaments were reportedly kept back in Tripoli, with rebels reportedly fighting troops to the south as well.

Though NATO has insisted that the regime can no longer launch a “credible military offensive” all indications are that they retain a significant force inside the capital, and the 50 km march from Zawiya to Tripoli is likely to be anything but a cakewalk in a war which seems destined to end stalemated.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.