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Thread: So .... Libya?

  1. #1
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Default So .... Libya?

    Months ago there were daily reports of what was going on in Lybia, maps of cities being conquered/lost, territory controlled regularly changing etc

    Not seen anything for a while. Have we reached a pure stalemate?

    I note today the UK has chosen to recognise the rebels as the sole and official government, but that's political. Not seeing anything militarily actually happening any more.

  2. #2
    Not actually true, RB. Rebels have been pushing towards Tripoli from Misrata. It's been very slow going, but it's not actually stalemate. Whether they'll reach Tripoli or not is an open question, but they seem to be somewhat better organized and disciplined now... and they are getting French weapons. I have my doubts that they can oust Gaddhafi when they actually get to the environs of Tripoli (they hardly have urban warfare experience, and NATO airstrikes can only help them in open terrain), but their areas of control are slowly increasing. If they can get oil flowing again, they might even be able to fund a semi-decent alternative government.

  3. #3
    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    As of last week, the rebels were conducting offensive operations to push Gaddafi forces out of Brega, and have partially encircled the city. Their progress has been slowed by the approximately 45,000 mines that have been laid around the city by Gaddafi loyalists. However, while the Gaddafi forces here aren't actually physically cut off resupply or reinforcement is difficult because the rebels positions overlook the coastal road.

    Meanwhile, the Misrata rebels have pushed to the outskirts of Zlitan, which is the next town on the road to Tripoli. The western mountains have been mostly static.

    Also, the rebels have been deploying tanks at Brega.
    If you tolerate this, then your children will be next.

  4. #4
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    So we could reach a point where the rebels control most of the country but just not Tripoli?

  5. #5
    I have serious doubts about how effective tanks are going to be in their hands... probably a waste of time and resources on their part to try to use them. Tank warfare is not for amateurs.

    edit: RB, yeah I find it possible, but it's going to be a long slog to get there. Gaddhafi will probably try to hold onto at least the airport and the border with Tunisia, as well as Tripoli proper (and maybe some outlying towns), but cede the rest of the country to the NTC. I wouldn't count him out, though. He still has a fantastic amount of gold and wealth scurried away and can probably hold out for quite some time.

  6. #6
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    Just Tripoli will not be a tenable position for Ghadafi, even if he has hoards of gold and money, there will be no more new money coming in and he'll somehow have to provided for the needs of the people in the capital, or they will turn on him too. Starve a city and no guns will hold the people back, especially not if they know an army to rescue them is near at hand.
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    De Oppresso Liber CitizenCain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    I have serious doubts about how effective tanks are going to be in their hands... probably a waste of time and resources on their part to try to use them. Tank warfare is not for amateurs.
    One could, quite easily, make the exact same critique of every Arab military. From a Western perspective, the guys Gaddhafi has on his tank crews are amateurs too, so it's not exactly like the rebels have to be all that proficient to match the skill level of their opponent. So long as they can drive and fire the main gun, that's probably enough.
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    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    So we could reach a point where the rebels control most of the country but just not Tripoli?
    It's not just Tripoli. There's also Sirt, and most of the south. The rebels have virtually no control outside of the coast.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  9. #9
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding was that the south was very sparsely populated. Outside of the oil fields (some of which are in rebel hands, and most of the pipeline exits are in rebel hands), is there that much of strategic importance in the south?

  10. #10
    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    The rebels hold some territory in the south. I imagine if they haven't taken much down there it is because they haven't bothered to try. Also, the vast distances involved probably make it difficult for the logistically when just pushing from Benghazi to Brega is a big deal.
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  11. #11
    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    Libyan rebels have advanced into two strategic towns controlling access to the capital, Tripoli, from the west and the south.

    Fighting was reported in both Zawiya, just 50km (30 miles) west of Tripoli, and Gharyan, 80km to the south.

    A spokesman for Col Muammar Gaddafi's government said both towns remained "under our full control".

    If the towns fall to the rebels, they would have Tripoli surrounded by land, with Nato blocking sea access.

    Foreign correspondents in Zawiya reported battles continuing between rebels and government forces a day after rebels pushed into the town in a dramatic advance.

    Rebel fighters raised their red, green and black flag over the central market on Sunday, but gunshots and explosions could be heard in the town.

    The rebels said pro-Gaddafi gunmen were sited on high buildings shooting at them.
    Decisive moment

    Zawiya controls the main road west from Tripoli to the Tunisia - a key supply route for Col Gaddafi's forces.

    Zawiya's oil refinery - the only one in western Libya - also supplies his forces with most of their fuel.


    The BBC's Matthew Price in Tripoli says Col Gaddafi's forces can be expected to fight tooth-and-nail for both assets.

    Zawiya's loss would prove a decisive moment in the conflict, giving the rebels the upper hand, says our correspondent.

    The city was briefly held by rebel forces early in the uprising against Col Muammar Gaddafi's rule this year but they were driven out by tanks and suffered heavy casualties.

    Last week, hundreds of rebels pushed out of the Nafusa Mountains in the west, down towards the towns of the coastal plain in an offensive aimed at ending months of deadlock.

    Heavy gunfire was also reported on Sunday in Ghaniya, south of Tripoli, and a Reuters correspondent said columns of smoke rose from the city.

    Rebels said they had reached the centre of the town and were in control of 70% of it.

    Military success in the west is crucial to the rebels, who have struggled to make advance from their stronghold around Benghazi in the east.
    If you tolerate this, then your children will be next.

  12. #12
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Sounds important!

  13. #13
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    It does seem the rebels have gotten pretty chaotic with their own organization. Still very unclear what would take the place of the "guy with really bad hair."

  14. #14
    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    Latest Screenshot from my Libya campaign. Playing as the Rebs. AI just started firing Scuds at me, but they just landed in the fucking desert. Seriously buggy AI.

    Click to view the full version
    If you tolerate this, then your children will be next.

  15. #15
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Interesting that the non-Berber fighters in the East are being entirely useless, despite having far more resources than the predominantly Berber fighters in the West. The stories I'm seeing suggest that Easterners run the second an artillery shot lands within a hundred yards of them. Unfortunately for the rebels, most of their manpower comes from the East, which means the odds of them actually capturing a major semi-hostile city, like Sirt or Tripoli, are virtually nil. The most they can hope for is a blockade of Tripoli leading to Qaddafi fleeing the country. If he doesn't flee, this could easily last many months (and at a very high human cost).
    Hope is the denial of reality

  16. #16
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    So the Berbers are sort of the Klingons in this whole thing?

  17. #17
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    So the Berbers are sort of the Klingons in this whole thing?
    When you have two disorganized groups fighting each other, there's something to be said for having a "warrior spirit" (i.e. not being conditioned to value comfort and security).

    Winning skirmishes is much easier when one side flees the second a firefight starts. If Qaddafi's army wasn't useless, he'd have retaken the eastern part of the country a long time ago. It only seems to be adept at killing civilians.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  18. #18
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Rebels have now taken Zawiya oil refinery: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14575444

  19. #19
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Small groups of rebel fighters occupied the inside of the Zawiyah refinery complex
    He said rebel forces battled about 150 Gaddafi troops, who later fled the sea-side refinery on Zodiac boats.
    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2011/...-libya.html?hp

    Speaking of Qaddafi's army being useless.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  20. #20
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    This makes me want to conquer stuff... They rebels should broadcast open enlistment for turncloaks of Ghaddaffi's armies. You'd have to watch such recruits closely.. be a suicide mission but they could eff you up from the inside during a battle, or by relaying intel. Seems like a good idea but perhaps you'd have to group them together and watch them, and tell them nothing but last minute info, and perhaps have tasks designed to test their trustworthiness (proof of them being a real turncloak).

  21. #21
    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    The rebels now appear to be in full control of Zawiya and Zlitan.
    If you tolerate this, then your children will be next.

  22. #22

  23. #23
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14603989

    And now the eastern rebels lost Brega. Useless as usual. The second there's some sustained pressure, they flee.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  24. #24
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    That doesn't say they've lost Brega, it says they've lost total control of it and now have just a part and there's fighting. I think the rebels will be happier than the regime about how this week is going.

    And now there's reports (on Twitter, not seen it on news yet) of firefights in Tripoli itself.

  25. #25
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Virtually all the gains have been made in the west. The east is full of "fighters" who drive up to the front, shoot their ammo in the direction of the enemy, and flee if anyone shoots back. They withdrew from Brega because there was an actual counter-attack.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  26. #26
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    If that is the case, why haven't Gaddafi's forces reclaimed all of the East?

    Similarly how have they managed to take Brega in the first, second, third etc place?

  27. #27
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    If that is the case, why haven't Gaddafi's forces reclaimed all of the East?

    Similarly how have they managed to take Brega in the first, second, third etc place?
    A) Because Qaddafi's soldiers are only marginally better.
    B) Qaddafi lacks the manpower to hold the territory.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  28. #28
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    On the news now about gunfire in Tripoli - "heavy and sporadic".

  29. #29
    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    It looks like it's a local uprising.
    If you tolerate this, then your children will be next.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    If that is the case, why haven't Gaddafi's forces reclaimed all of the East?

    Similarly how have they managed to take Brega in the first, second, third etc place?
    It helps that NATO planes destroy any heavy equipment (tanks, artillery, etc.) that moves between the cities, and savage supply lines. That means Gaddafi's forces are mostly limited to light infantry.

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