NATO says anti-Gaddafi forces make "significant advances"   2011-08-16 21:37:17 FeedbackPrintRSS

BRUSSELS, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- A NATO spokesman said on Tuesday that the anti-Gaddafi forces had made "significant advances" on several fronts, however, situations on the ground still remained "very dynamic".

"In the last few days, we have witnessed significant advances of anti-Gaddafi forces on several fronts. In the northwest where Gaddafi forces have lost considerable grounds and also in the regions of Misrata and Brega...Anti-Gaddafi forces are now assuming control of the key approaches to Triopli," said Colonel Roland Lavoie, spokesman for the military alliance's operation in Libya.

"These advances are the most significant anti-Gaddafi territorial gain we have seen in months," he said.

Rebels on Saturday claimed control of the town of Zawiyah, 50 km west of Tripoli on the coast, enabling them to halt food and fuel supplies from Tunisia to the Libyan capital. On Sunday, rebels said they had seized Surman, the next town west along the coast from Zawiyah.

However, Lavoie said that the situation remained "very dynamic" and was evolving "hour by hour."

"There are still fights. In the suburbs of Surman, there is still some fighting reported this morning. In Zawiyah, although the centre is under anti-Gaddafi forces, there are reports of fighting also in the suburbs," he said.

In addition, Lavoie confirmed that rebels had captured the eastern area of the oil town of Brega.

He accused Gaddafi forces of launching an unguided short-range ballistic missile on Sunday to attack the Brega area, which "potentially could have killed many civilians."

Lavoie believed that the Gaddafi forces was running short of missiles and could not "generate significant operational effect" on the ground.

Special Report: Foreign Military Intervention in Libya

Editor: Yamei Wang
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