Casualties Mount in West Libya as Regime Urges Ceasefire

Rebels Advance But Tripoli Seems an Unrealistic Target

Violence in Western Libya is continuing to escalate, as rebels finally wrested control over the oil refinery in Zawiya today, with efforts to seize more areas around the strategically important city. Between the fighting on the ground and NATO’s air strikes, the casualties in the region are on the rise.

Though some are spinning this as a decisive turn in the ongoing war, NATO conceded earlier this week that the rebels are unlikely to be able to hold Zawiya, while the regime insists that the strength of their force in Tripoli is more than enough to prevent the forces from taking the city.

This appears to be more or less the way the civil war in the nation has been going since March, with offensives on both sides invariably reaching too far, faltering, and returning the situation to the status quo.

And even as the current one looks to be going the same, regime Prime Minister Mahmoudi called for a ceasefire, citing the rising bloodshed across the nation. Though rumors have emerged repeatedly of such talks already being ongoing, the rebels have ruled out such a deal.

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.