Monday, August 22, 2011

Mermaid Dawn: The Battle for Tripoli

It is just a few weeks after the Libyan rebel military commander was assassinated, raising doubts over the unity of the NTC.

Suddenly, the situation has changed dramatically. Rebels advanced with renewed vigor, with support from the NATO air power. Then began 'Operation Mermaid Dawn'.

A general uprising in Tripoli began on August 20. Weapons were brought by boats and delivered to rebel elements. Caught by surprise, the Gaddafi loyalists have lost control of much of the city as of now (August 22, 2011, early afternoon in Libya). Gaddafi's two eldest sons are in rebel custody but the whereabouts of the leader is still unknown. A considerable area of the country is still under Gaddafi loyalists and until he is captured, the rebels will not win the battle.

Even then, a new NTC regime would find it hard to keep Libya united given the heterogeneity of the organization. Also, there is no guarantee that Libya would not become another Iraq. By giving support to the NTC, the NATO wanted to see the back of an anti-Western leader. But, there is every possibility that the fall of Gaddafi brings long lasting unrest in the neighborhood of Europe.

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