Libyan Rebels Move to Conquer Southern City

Raise Flag Over Colonial Era Fort

Many thought the Libyan rebel conquest of the capital city of Tripoli made the civil war ambitions of regime change a fait accompli, and with the UN rushing to give the rebels a seat, you’d figure they had already taken over the country.

But the rebels are just getting into around to trying to take over the sparsely populated southern portion of the nation, and are planning to attack the major city of Sabha within the next two days, having already taken over the airport on the outskirts, as well as a colonial era fort, Fort Elena, which at one point was a military base of some import.

At the same time, rebel attempts to mop up the loyalist cities of Bani Walid and Sirte in the north don’t seem to be going particularly well, as the regime is claiming several wins in battles around those last cities.

With the rebels already seriously split between defectors and Islamists, the move into the south could be seriously problematic. This is doubly so because the southern portions of the nation include a number of black natives, and the rebels have been openly persecuting black people across the portions of the nation they’ve already conquered.

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.