Libyan Rebels to Squeeze Gaddafi's Bastion Sirte in 'Pincers'

World | August 29, 2011, Monday // 20:03|  views

Libyan rebels are preparing to converge on Sirte from two sides. Map by Al Jazeera

Libyan rebels are preparing their forces for an all-out attack on Sirte, one of dictator Muammar Gaddafi's two surviving bastions, reports say.

The rebels will assault the coastal town of Sirte in a "pincer movement", i.e. from two sides – from Ras Lanuf and Bin Jawad in the east and from Tripoli and Misrata in the west, according to Al Jazeera.

The gradual advance of the Libyan rebels on Sirte has been backed by intensive strikes of NATO air power on Gaddafi loyalists' targets.

The attack on Sirte appears imminent even though since the end of last week – when the rebels' advance on the town was beaten back with a surprising force – rebel commanders have indicated they were attempting to negotiate the peace handover of Sirte with local leaders.

Before pushing against Sirte, however, the rebels on the frontline were waiting for further reinforcements to join them from the capital, as of Monday night, Al Jazeera reported.

The rebels do not suffer from a lack of manpower or weapons but of training, according to a correspondent.

The attack on Sirte could even be delayed because rebels forces remain engaged in Tripoli since the capital city is not completely secure after it was captured in the Battle for Tripoli last week.

NATO air forces are said to have intensified their strikes on Sirte targets in the past two days.

Sirte, 450 km east of Tripoli, and Sabha, 600 km to the south, are Gaddafi's two last major strongholds.

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Tags: Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, rebels, transitional National Council, Sirte, Sabha, Tripoli, misrata, Misurata, Bin Jawad, Ras Lanuf


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