Battle for Libya shifts in desert sands as Gaddafi loyalists target oilfields
As the battle for Libya has reached a near stalemate along the Mediterranean coast, a guerrilla war has begun in the deep desert to the south where the country’s strategic oil and water reserves lie.
The oasis of Jalo, 250km south of the front line between Ajdabiya and Brega, has witnessed repeated raids by a fast-moving enemy that attacks and then disappears back into the desert.
The assaults by regime forces come amid claims last night by the rebels that they had taken control of the airport in the western coastal city of Misrata, which has been under siege for nearly two months. But despite rebels claiming a major breakthrough against the forces of Muammar Gaddafi, the battle for control of the sparsely populated Jalo area could have greater long-term consequences.