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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Obama's Plan To Remove Gadhafi Is Working Or Not? More Help Needed!

I'll Admit I Was Probably Wrong About Pres. Obama & Hillary Clinton's No-Fly Zone Strategy. Such Military Action Appears To Be Working. On Wednesday Gadhafi's Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa Resigned.

No Doubt This Was Definitely A Significant Blow To Gadhadi's Regime.

If The Obama Administration Is Able To Force Col. Gadhafi & His Sons From Their Seats Of Power, It Will Certainly Prove To Be A Tremendous Leadership & Political Victory For Barack Obama

However Without More Help From U.S. Troops, Removing Gadhafi Will Only Be A Distant Fantasy!

Libyan opposition says NATO strike hit rebel fighters; 13 killed

Notions of a cease-fire in Libya quickly faded Saturday as a battle raged for control of the oil town of al-Brega, where rebel fighters claimed they had lost fighters and vehicles to NATO airstrikes.

Airstrikes hit several rebel vehicles and killed at least 13 rebel fighters, spokesmen for the Libyan opposition said Saturday. Seven others were wounded.

NATO was investigating the incident, a spokeswoman said Saturday.

"NATO takes any reports of civilian casualties very seriously, but exact details are hard to verify as we have no reliable sources on the ground," NATO's Oana Lungescu said. "Clearly, if someone fires at one of our aircraft, of course they have the right to defend themselves."

Rebel spokesman Abdul Hafiz Ghoga said opposition fighters had retaken al-Brega after a night of heavy fighting with Moammar Gadhafi's forces.

But it was not immediately clear who commanded control Saturday of the coastal city that has now changed hands six times in as many weeks under the dramatically shifting circumstances of the Libyan war.

In a fresh offensive Friday, Libyan opposition forces led by army units that defected from Gadhafi's forces were able to push back Gadhafi's troops, rebel spokesman Shamsiddin Abdulmolah said.

Rebels were fighting with newly refurbished rocket launchers and artillery delivered to the frontlines Thursday night by the army units that switched sides, Abdulmolah said.

Meanwhile, forces loyal to Gadhafi showed no signs of backing down after officials spurned an opposition cease-fire proposal.

Government spokesman Musa Ibrahim told reporters in Tripoli on Friday that rebels were not "really serious" about the offer, which he said included "silly conditions."

"They are asking us to withdraw from our own cities and open our cities to people, who are holding up arms, who are tribal, violent, no unified leadership, al Qaeda links, and no one knows who they are. If this is not mad, then I don't know what it is," he said. "We will not leave our cities. We will not stop protecting our civilians."

His comments came after Libyan opposition leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil laid out cease-fire conditions that included freedom of expression for the Libyan people and the removal of snipers, mercenaries and militias from western cities.

Ultimately, he said, the opposition's goal remains regime change in Libya.

Ghoga sought to clarify the opposition's position Saturday.

"There is no, and was no, negotiation on a cease-fire with Colonel Gaddafi's dictatorship," he said at a Bengahzi news conference.

He repeated the opposition demands that Gadhafi halt all military action, end the sieges laid on cities like Misrata and allow free speech and assembly.

Sources close to Gadhafi told CNN that political solutions are still possible but that the Libyan leader would relinquish power only to others within his inner circle.

They said there is still time for dialogue but expressed doubts about who would represent the opposition.

Any transition, they said, would involve Gadhafi's second son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, and for such a transition to take place there would first have to be an end to the fighting.

The Libyan sources told CNN that for now, Gadhafi remains confident the regime can withstand any challenge from the rebels.

U.S. officials claim Gadhafi's military capabilities have been steadily eroded since the onset of U.N.-sanctioned airstrikes.

The dictator's forces, however, still outnumber rebels by about 10 to 1 in terms of armor and other ground forces, according to Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman.

Source: CIA operating in Libya, in consultation with opposition

CIA operatives are providing intelligence from Libya, where opposition forces are on the run and the defiant government suffered the embarrassing defection of its foreign minister Wednesday.

The NATO-led coalition, which is enforcing a no-fly zone and protecting civilians from the intense fighting, got no help from the weather in its ongoing efforts to protect the fragile opposition movement.

"The weather conditions did not allow close combat support by aircraft in the last couple of days," said Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Moammar Gadhafi's government, for its part, kept up the war of words.

State-run Libyan TV late Wednesday quoted a military source as saying a "civilian location was shelled tonight in the city of Tripoli by the colonizing crusader aggression."

Amid debate on whether the allies will arm the retreating and undertrained rebels, a U.S. intelligence source told CNN the CIA is in the country to increase the "military and political understanding" of the situation.

"Yes, we are gathering intel firsthand and we are in contact with some opposition entities," said the source.

The White House refused to comment on a Reuters report that President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel troops.

"I will reiterate what the president said yesterday -- no decision has been made about providing arms to the opposition or to any group in Libya," said White House press secretary Jay Carney in a statement. "We're not ruling it out or ruling it in. We're assessing and reviewing options for all types of assistance that we could provide to the Libyan people, and have consulted directly with the opposition and our international partners about these matters."

According to the Reuters report, Obama signed the covert aid order, or "finding," within the past few weeks. Such findings are required for the CIA to conduct secret operations, the report said.

A U.S. official not authorized to speak publicly could not confirm the finding, but noted when there are crises like this, "you look at all instruments of national power."

In early March, a U.S. official told CNN "the intelligence community is aggressively pursuing information on the ground" in Libya.

British Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Commons that he has not ruled out arming the Libyan opposition, but added that Britain has not made the decision to do so.

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Sources: CNN, Google Maps

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