Battle for Tripoli: Key developments

Russia will open full diplomatic ties with the rebels if they are able to unite the country.


Afp August 24, 2011

TRIPOLI: Below are the main developments since Libyan rebels launched an offensive on Saturday in the capital Tripoli, going on to capture strongman Moamer Qaddafi's highly fortified headquarters Tuesday.

Saturday, August 20

- Fighting erupts in Tripoli as rebels, backed by Nato airstrikes; close in on the Libyan capital after claiming the oil city of Brega, a day after seizing Zawiyah and Zliten to the west of Tripoli.

Sunday, August 21

- In the morning, rebels infiltrate the capital by sea from the rebel-held coastal enclave of Misrata. Rebels enter Tripoli from the west in the afternoon, greeted by cheering crowds, witnesses say.

- Qaddafi broadcasts three defiant audio messages, vowing he will not surrender and urging the people of Tripoli to "purge" the capital.

- Overnight rebel fighters enter the symbolic Green Square in the heart of the city, where a jubilant crowd waves the red, black and green rebel flag.

Monday, August 22

- Heavy fighting in several areas of the capital, including near Qaddafi's residence in central Tripoli, witnesses say, while snipers loyal to the strongman are reported on the rooftops. The rebels seize control of the state broadcaster in Tripoli.

- Rebel leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil declares the Qaddafi era "over". The international community says the Qaddafi regime is "coming to an end".

- Overnight, Qaddafi 's son Seif al-Islam reappears after being reportedly arrested by rebels and defiantly says that Tripoli is "under control" of the regime. His brother Mohammed escapes after having been arrested by rebels.

Tuesday, August 23

- Nato declares that Qaddafi is not a target.

- Rebel fighters capture Qaddafi's heavily fortified compound and headquarters in Tripoli after a day of heavy fighting. "Rebels breached the surrounding cement walls and entered inside. They have taken Bab al-Azizya. Completely. It is finished," an AFP correspondent says. Rebels say there is no trace of Qaddafi and his sons. They say 400 have been killed and 2,000 injured in three days of fighting.

- To the east rebels overrun the eastern oil hub of Ras Lanuf on the road to Qaddafi’s hometown of Sirte. Forces loyal to Qaddafi fire several Scud missiles from Sirte at Misrata.

- President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and US counterpart Barack Obama say to continue military action against Qaddafi until he lays down his weapons.

- Senior Libyan rebel official Mahmud Jibril says that the political transition in his country "begins immediately." Jalil says that the rebel council will move from Benghazi to Tripoli progressively from Thursday.

- Qaddafi says in audio messages he has abandoned his Tripoli compound in a "tactical withdrawal." He says he walked incognito in Tripoli and urges residents to cleanse Tripoli of "rats".

- Gunfire and sporadic explosions during the night.

Wednesday, August 24

- Fighting rages near Qaddafi’s compound and the nearby Abu Slim area as loyalist troops stage a fightback, an AFP reporter says. Not far from the fighting some 30 foreign journalists are still unable to leave their hotel after four days of siege.

-  Jalil says that the rebels want to take Qaddafi alive. "The Qaddafi era is over, even if it will only really end with his capture and his conviction for the crimes he has committed," he says. He says Libya will hold free elections in eight months' time and Qaddafi will be put on trial in the country.

- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says Russia will be prepared to open full diplomatic ties with the rebels if they are able to unite the country.

COMMENTS (4)

Dallas Ali | 9 years ago | Reply

@MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).

The brave people of Libya had NO chance if it was not for NATO's firepower. The rag tag rebels had no match against Libyan Army, AF & Navy. Unlike you the Libyan people are great full that we were there to get them out of their 42 years of shackles from Gaddafi and his goons.

I hope this Freedom Express continues through Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Algeria & rest of the Mid-East. We will be there through our Black Operations (Special Forces) on the side of the people & not with corrupt, despotic treasury raider rulers.

MAD | 9 years ago | Reply

NATO plans to stay in Libya even after the rebellion ends. That was the original plan anyway and everyone fell for it. Gaddafi was a despotic nutcase but I only see things getting worse for the Libyans here just like in Iraq after Saddam.

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