Libyan Civil War, June 17th Update
Today marks the 4 month anniversary of the start of the armed rebellion against Qaddafi.
The bigggest piece of news today is the fact that rockets have landed in the port and residential areas for the first time in about a month, killing. This raises a fair number of questions. They are clearly beyond the Salt Marshes, as the land offers no cover and the rocket launches from here would be noticed, and NATO would have responded. So the question is: Since the BM-21s being used usually don’t have the range for this, what launched the rockets. Right now, the only pre-war equipment that had the range is the 9K52 Luna-M, a ballistic missile. Several of the launchers were destroyed earlier in the war, but it is possible some survived.
While the southern front around Tawergha is quiet, the front near Zliten is continuing to move forward, with them being about 10km away from the city now. A neighborhood in the city, Suq al-Thulatha, seems to be under rebel control, judging from the fact that this area is being shelled. In addition, the rebels are now attempting a flanking maneuver, with the goal being to flank resistance in Naimah. In addition, a large number of Qaddafi Troops were killed or captured in an ambush today.
The Nafusa Front
Little information has come out as to what is going on east of Yefren, but more to the West, rebels are attmepting to take the towns of Tiji, Takut, and Ghezala, which have been used to shell the towns of Nalut and Wazzin. It is unclear whether this attack has been successful.
Rebels are advancing on the front near Brega, and are now about 10 kilometers outside the town. Brega is said to have about 2,000 to 3,000 Qaddafi troops within.
In addition, the feared attack against the area held by rebels in Sabha has still not come, even though it was expected Sunday. This raises a number of questions, such as what would keep Qaddafi troops from attempting to go toward it. More than likely, the advance by rebels in the Eastern Nafusa Mountains has meant they have to stay to try and hold Gharyan.
Several airstikes have occurred in Tripoli today, and several neighborhoods in the east part of the city have witnessed resistance of some sort, such as attacks, riots, and demonstrations. In addition, 2 Libyan soldiers who defected to Algeria were returned to Qaddafi’s forces.
Qaddafi’s son has said he is willing to have elections in three months, in the most recent act of apparent desperation by him or his father to save the government or their own skin. This has been rejected by both the rebels and the US State Department.
The leader of the NTC is going to Tunisia tomorrow, which could mean recognition of the Rebel Government. Also, Italy has signed an agreement about migrants with the Rebel Government.
What Happens To Algeria?
A question for after the war is what impact Algeria’s actions will have. For one, this war has proven that the Polisario Front is nothing more than an Algerian puppet organization after there appearance in Libya earlier in the war. In addition, the fact that Algerian equipment was found in Libya during the war shows interference that was explicitly forbidden by the UN.
After this war, it is likely that Algeria will be surrounded by governments hostile to it. The question now becomes how this will play out. If protests start in large size after the Libyan Civil War is over, there is the possibility that Libya, Morocco, and maybe Tunisia will support said protesters.
Morocco, or How to Handle Protests Correctly
Today, the Moroccan King announced a series of reforms to take the nation in a more democratic direction. Included in these reforms are a separation of powers, transfer of some powers from the King to the Prime Minister (such as the ability to dissolve Parliament and have new elections), ability for the parliament to grant amnesty, making Tamazight (the language of the Berbers) a second official language, and guarantees of religious freedom while affirming a Islam as the official religion of the state. The Constitutional Referendum is set for July 1st, with new parliamentary elections on October 7th.
There had been major protests in the country in the past few months, with some rioting, but only 8 people had died.