10 Rebels killed in coalition air strike
So far the “No-Fly Zone” is going swimmingly. Yesterday we had a report of 40 civilians killed in coalition air strikes in Tripoli (remember, the coalition’s mission is to protect civilians) and today we learn that the coalition managed to kill 10 rebels in a strike yesterday (they’re supposedly helping the rebels, remember?).
Fog of war? Eh, yes and no. Mostly just a piss poor war. As I’ve mentioned before, any competent army will learn to adapt and overcome when possible and that’s apparently what pro-Gadhafi forces are doing.
First they went to vehicles similar to the rebels making it very hard to sort out who is who on the ground. Then they took it a step further, according to Reuters:
A Western coalition air strike hit a group of rebels on the eastern outskirts of Brega late on Friday, killing at least 10 of them, rebel fighters at the scene said on Saturday.
A Reuters correspondent saw the burned out husks of at least four vehicles including an ambulance by the side of the road near the eastern entrance to the oil town.
Men prayed at freshly dug graves covered by the rebel red, black and green flag nearby.
"Some of Gaddafi’s forces sneaked in among the rebels and fired anti-aircraft guns in the air," said rebel fighter Mustafa Ali Omar. "After that the NATO forces came and bombed them."
Rebel fighters at the scene said as many as 14 people may have died in the bombing, which they said happened around 10 p.m. local time (2000 GMT)
Meanwhile it appears the possible, or should I say anticipated end state may be – stalemate? Really? That’s what all this effort is about?
U.S. officials are becoming increasingly resigned to the possibility of a protracted stalemate in Libya, with rebels retaining control of the eastern half of the divided country but lacking the muscle to drive Moammar Gaddafi from power.
Such a deadlock — perhaps backed by a formal cease-fire agreement — could help ensure the safety of Libyan civilians caught in the crossfire between the warring sides. But it could also dramatically expand the financial and military commitments by the United States and allied countries that have intervened in the six-week-old conflict, according to U.S. officials familiar with planning for the Libyan operation.
Ya think? That’s always a sign of a well thought out, well planned strategy, isn’t it?
What you’re talking about then is a semi-permanent NFZ, because immediately upon its withdrawal, Benghazi would be under siege again.
What a great solution, no? Split the country, prop up and support some government in the east (an area that produced 20% of the suicide bombers for Iraq and has admitted jihadis in the governing councils and rebel fighters) and then fly cover for the next, oh, 10 years or so?