Qaddafi May Have the Last Laugh

Qaddafi, left for dead merely weeks ago, may be on the verge of military victory.

Aryeh Ben Hayim , | updated: 4:16 PM

Benghazi Old Town
Benghazi Old Town


Two weeks back, Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi, was considered delusional when giving interviews in Tripoli where he expressed confidence in his victory over the insurgents. Now the shoe appears to be on the other foot as the insurgents, while still pleading for a no-fly zone, are still attempting to sound upbeat after retreating from the key oil towns of Ras Lanuf and Brega.

According to Abdel Fattah Younes, the former Libyan interior minister who defected to the insurgents and heads their armed forces, this was merely a "tactical withdrawal" by the insurgents. It is intended to lure Qaddafi and his forces into a terrain more advantageous to the insurgents.

Qaddafi's forces began investing in taking over the town of Ajdabiya. Once that town is captured, there is nothing between the Qaddafi forces and the insurgent stronghold of Benghazi. In a related development, Qaddafi's forces have recaptured Zwara in the West, consolidating the government's hold on the western coastline from the capital to the Tunisian borders.

With his latest victories, Qaddafi has accomplished two things: he has reasserted his control over the Libyan oil industry and has cut off fuel supplies to the insurgents. He now has the option of pressing on to the insurgent capital and even dispensing with airpower He may surround, bombard and reduce it to the ground. Alternatively, he can leave the insurgents in control of the city. The job of feeding, refueling and providing other humanitarian assistance to the insurgents would presumably be left to the countries that have embraced them and told Qaddafi to leave.