(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- The seesaw battle for control of Libya took another turn Tuesday as forces loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi managed to overwhelm rebels who had gained ground in the oil-rich city of Brega.
Rebel fighters were unable to hold their gains from the day before after coming under a heavy barrage of rockets and artillery from the government's better-equipped forces. As a result, the rebels were forced to head back to the city of Ajdabiya, a further indication that the ongoing conflict has essentially turned into a stalemate.
The only way anti-Gadhafi fighters have made any headway is with support from NATO air strikes, which the coalition says are used primarily to protect civilians. A no-fly zone over Libya has grounded Gadhafi's air force.
NATO also claims that it has destroyed about a third of Gadhafi's heavy artillery although his loyalists have been able to move tanks and other heavy equipment into populated areas of the rebel-held city of Misrata, which prevents the alliance from targeting these sites.
In other developments, the rebels say they are prepared to export oil from Libya for the first time since taking arms to overthrow Gadhafi's regime. The European Union said it would lift its embargo on Libyan oil exports in that case as long as profits aren't pocketed by Gahdafi or his government.
It's believed the rebels control about a dozen Libyan oil fields.
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