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Sunday
Aug212011

Libyan Rebels Close in Capitol Tripoli

US State Department(TRIPOLI) -- Rebel forces are closing in on Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafias rebels began what is being called the first true assault on Tripoli, hitting it from three fronts, with help from NATO war planes in the sky overnight.

The assault comes after rebels took control of cities just to the east and just to the west of Tripoli.

On Saturday, opposition fighters captured the strategic Libyan coastal city of Zawiya on their march toward Tripoli.

Fighting has been going on for more than a week on the main streets of Zawiya, with Gadhafi snipers positioned on top of Zawiya's hospital, a bank and a hotel overlooking the main square.

As NATO ramps up the pressure on Gadhafi, Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said the rebels were acting under the cover of NATO, which has the blood of innocent Libyans on its hands.

He singled out the leaders of the U.S., Britain and France as he spoke to foreign press in Tripoli Sunday.

"We hold Mr. Obama , Mr. Cameron and Mr. Sarkozy morally responsible for every single unnecessary death that takes place in this country," Ibrahim said.

He also insisted that Tripoli is well defended from the rebels.

"Tripoli is well protected and we have thousands upon thousands of professional soldiers who are ready to defend this city," Ibrahim said.

He warned that the fighting would continue if there is no ceasefire.

"We are going to fight on unless everybody agrees on a ceasefire because as a dignified nation we have our freedom, we have our honor and we know that people even scared in their houses at this very moment, they do not want us to give up," Ibrahim said.

The State Department shut down the Libyan Embassy in February after closing the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.

"Gadhafi's days are numbered," Feltman told reporters in Benghazi Saturday. "The best-case scenario is for Gadhafi to step down now ... that's the best protection for civilians."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio