Fighting Continues in Libyan Town of Zawiya

Rebels Aimed to Take Over Oil Refinery

Days after having claimed control over the town of Zawiya, Libyan rebels are continuing to engage in battles across the strategically important area, with new reports that they continue to unsuccessfully try to occupy the oil refinery.

Rebel spokesmen say they have control over the refinery’s gates, but that regime snipers continue to control the refinery itself. The refinery would be a key part of rebel efforts to cut off the flow of fuel to the capital city.

NATO, for its part, says they don’t believe the rebels actually have enough troops to keep their hold on Zawiya going forward, let alone to attack Tripoli. Still, the rebels believe, as they have so many times in the past, that victory is imminent.

Zawiya’s value lies primarily in it being along the road between Tripoli and Tunisia. Its capture, the latest in a series of captures in the war, has rebels insisting that the peace talks in Tunisia aren’t real and that the war will continue.

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.