With the Libyan rebel movement insisting once again that they are on the cusp of “victory” in the seemingly endless civil war, US officials are warning that the regime is preparing for a “last stand” in the capital city of Tripoli.
The claim seems to run along similar lines to comments made by rebel PM Mustafa Jalil yesterday, when he predicted a “veritable bloodbath” in Tripoli during which Gadhafi and his family would face “catastrophe.”
But the “last stand” prediction seems to be an entirely different narrative than what US officials were saying last night, when the said there were indications that far from preparing for a major battle Gadhafi and family were preparing to flee to Tunisia within the next few days.
The comments may be designed to sew uncertainty within Gadhafian Libya, but the reality is that the regime has dramatically more forces in the capital than the rebels have on the outskirts, and both sides have claimed many times to be on the brink of victory only to see it evaporate when their offensive is stretched a little too far. It is this sort of offensive, brimming with confidence, that we have seen many times in five months of war, and that never seem to result in territorial changes.