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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > The Middle East

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The Middle East Asia Minor, the Arab Mahgreb, and the Persian Gulf to include tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors, Terrorist organizations and Iran.

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  #16  
Old 01 Mar 11, 17:37
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Latest from Al Jazeera blog:

Quote:
10:11pm

A Canadian Hercules military transport plane was refused permission to land in Tripoli earlier today, and has returned to Malta without the load of oil workers officials had hoped to evacuate, CTV reports. It comes after a C17 transport plane was deneid landing rights last week and was forced top wait in Rome for days awaiting the necessary approvals.

Canada has also sent a frigate to Libya - though it could take a week to get from Halifax to the Mediterranean sea .

10:08pm

Robert Gates, US defence secretary, says 400 Marines are aboard the amphibious USS Kearsarge - currently headed toward Libya. But he also said the UN SC resolution passed on Saturday did not authorise the use of force - and that NATO members are spilt on whether to take military action.

10:05pm

Al Jazeera's Scott Heidler tells us the UN representatives to Venezuela and Cuba want to speak in tonight's General Assembly session. It's not clear that they oppose kicking Libya off the Human Rights Council, but may want to make some statement against UN intervention.

9:50pm

The pre-Gaddafi Libyan flag has been raised at the Libyan embassy to Malta. Protesters met with the ambassador, who reportedly said he would accept their flag. After talks, however, the green flag still flew. The ambassador wanted to take it down, the consul did not, the Times of Malta reported.

But while the ambassador spoke to journalists outside the embassy, protesters scrambled up the side of the building, scaling the two-storey embassy, and raised their flag from the pole - to cheers from below. The Times of Malta has video footage.
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Old 02 Mar 11, 11:06
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They may not be getting this in Libya

Libya Accused of Jamming Satellite Signals

Peter B. de Selding,
Space News Staff
01 March 2011 Time: 11:42 PM ET

Quote:
PARIS — Mobile satellite services operator Thuraya Telecommunications says it has "conclusive evidence" that Libya, one of its shareholders, is the source of "unlawful and intentional jamming" of Thuraya signals in Libya and surrounding areas over the past week. The Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based company, which has dealt with Libya-based jamming in the past, said its technical teams are working to reduce the impact of the jamming and that, as of Feb. 25, "voice services were restored over much of the country." ...
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Old 02 Mar 11, 12:49
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The Canadians send a Frigate from Nova Scotia but the French won't sail its only carrier, which is only days away in southern France.
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Old 02 Mar 11, 14:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frtigern View Post
The Canadians send a Frigate from Nova Scotia but the French won't sail its only carrier, which is only days away in southern France.
One of the other posters found a story that said the French carrier had just returned from a deployment last week. The US might be able to turn a carrier around in a week but I'm not sure how much capacity the French have. We'll have to get one of our naval experts to comment on this.
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Old 02 Mar 11, 15:39
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Clearly yes, after some four months sailing near Pakistan the Charles de Gaulle is returned to Marseilles the 21 January. This article says it can sail now another time in way to Libya in some 72 hours (in French): http://www.meretmarine.com/article.cfm?id=115461
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Old 02 Mar 11, 18:08
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10:52pm
Al Jazeera's Evan Hill, our man in Brega, has managed to send us some photos.
Meet Colonel Bashir Abdel-Qader, who was directing the opposition troops outside Brega. He's the one in the tie, an unnamed officer next to him holds a grenade.



10:31pm
We're told that, despite attempts to block the signal, Al Jazeera can still be received by enterprising viewers in Tripoli. If you know someone there, tell them they can tune in on Hotbird - we're apparently being jammed on each frequency tried on NileSat...

10:15pm
Al Jazeera's Evan Hill (@evanchill): "We were told the attack on Brega consisted of around six jeeps with troops firing pretty much indiscriminately inside Brega University."

10:10pm
More from Evan: "One of the dead civilians in Brega hospital had a gaping wound in his neck, probably higher-calibre, maybe a machine gun."

10:05pm
Al Jazeera's Evan Hill tweets: There were two men dead in Brega hospital who the doctors claimed were pro-Gaddafi. Both young, impossible to tell if army or irregular [non-state fighters].

9:29pm
The two US amphibious assault ships sent from the Red Sea toward Libya yesterday have cleared the Suez canal and entered the Mediterranean, Reuters reports, quoting an anonymous source.
The USS Ponce and the USS Kearsarge are carrying around 400 Marines, US defence secretary Robert Gates said yesterday. The Kearsarge can carry up to 2,000 Marines, Al Jazeera understands.
Meanwhile, we've had yet another report of Iranian warships heading toward the Suez canal. Don't hold your breath on that one, however. Don't worry, if that's correct, Al Jazeera's live blog will be the first to let you know...

9:15pm
The Arab League has released a statement, following their conference of foreign ministers, in which they postponed their "Heads of State" summit due in Baghdad at the end of March until the middle of May.
They condemned the "crimes" committed against the peaceful protests in several Libyan cities, especially the hiring of foreign mercenaries, and the use of live and heavy ammunition against protesters.

They renewed the call for the immediate halt of violence and demanded the Libyan authorities to lift the ban on the media - to open communications and phonelines, and to safeguard medical aid.

They rejected the serious Libyan accusations about the participation of Arabs living there in violence against the Libyans and taking role in the events in Libya, urging the Libyan authorities to provide protection for all Arabs and foreigners living there, and to ease the way for those who want to leave.

They gave a "complete rejection" of foreign intervention in Libya and urged humanitarian aid to flow. The statement saluted "the martyrs of the protests" and expressed regret for the deaths of hundreds and the thousands of wounded.

It also re-emphasised the suspension of the Libyan delegation from taking part in the Arab League's meetings until it met the above demands

The Arab League said it will coordinate urgent support offered to Tunisia, Egypt and Sudan to evacuate their nationals and would continue consultations about the best ways to protect and safeguard Libyans.
"Arab countries won't just watch the blood-spilling of Libyans, and may resort to a no-fly zone, in coordination between the Arab League and the African Union."
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  #22  
Old 02 Mar 11, 18:10
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5:34pm

Al Jazeera's Tim Friend has been researching the size and scope of Libya's military capacity. He tells us:

The air force is said to be made up of 18,000 members, more than 200 fighter aircraft and 35 attack helicopters. But three aircraft have already been lost in the current unrest, and the airworthiness of the remaining jets has been questioned.

The navy boasts 8000 members and two submarines - but western military analysts believe that the subs have long been abandoned.

The Libyan army claims to have 50,000 soldiers, more than 2,200 battle tanks and 945 armoured personnel carriers.

But military analysts believe that years of sanctions and overall neglect have rendered much of the army's equipment useless.

The Libyan army may not have the strength it claims, but there's still a significant force on the ground. Analysts say that Gaddafi has a loyalist brigade made up of 10-12,000 troops - and those forces are trying to block the advance of Gaddafi's armed opposition and maintain control in western Libya.

The heavy presence of loyalist forces means Gaddafi still retains a strong grip on the capital Tripoli, the town of Sabha and his hometown of Sirte.

It's thought that Libya destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical weapons in 2004 as part of a rapprochment with the west. It does have deadly mustard gas stored at a secret desert location, but no longer has the capability to deliver it.
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  #23  
Old 02 Mar 11, 18:23
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Latest on Libya via Bloomberg....

Sounds like Qaddafi's forces still loyal to him managed to take back some oil facilities, then the rebels took it back from them.


Quote:
Qaddafi Forces Battle Rebels for Control of Libya's Oil
By Ola Galal, Mariam Fam and Alaa Shahine - Mar 2, 2011 11:45 AM PT

Libyan forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi counterattacked rebels in the coastal region where much of the country’s crude is refined or shipped abroad, while Qaddafi asserted that he still controlled the oil fields.

Rebels regained control of an oil facility in Brega, on the Gulf of Sidra today, driving away government forces, according to a local oil official. Qaddafi’s warplanes bombarded the area around Ajdabiya, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) northeast of Brega, where rebels took over a military camp, a witness said.

Link to full article:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...om-rebels.html
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Last edited by Persephone; 02 Mar 11 at 18:25..
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  #24  
Old 02 Mar 11, 18:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Persephone View Post
Sounds like Qaddafi's forces still loyal to him managed to take back some oil facilities, then the rebels took it back from them.
I can only think that Gadaffi's forces are not well equipped or motivated if this is the kind of unit they were repelled by...

From Al Jazeera:
Quote:
And here's some of the anti-Gaddafi fighters returning to Brega after seeing off Gaddafi's troops.



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Old 02 Mar 11, 19:19
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12:36am

Speaking of the opposition in Benghazi, they say they are not just calling for a no-fly zone, but for UN forces to conduct airstrikes on forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.

The city is tense, as volunteers continue to sign up for ad-hoc military training ahead of an expected counteroffensive.

- Al Jazeera
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Old 02 Mar 11, 19:45
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Looks like those rebels in dilapidated pickup trucks is a force to be reckoned with. They are holding their own and then some.

Maybe the West ought to just sit back and enjoy the show...

Quote:
Libya rebels in a rout
Beat back Khadafy's soldiers in 3 big cities
By ANDY SOLTIS - With Post Wire Services
4:10 AM, March 2, 2011

In the key western town of Zawiya -- just 30 miles from Tripoli -- loyalist troops armed with tanks, machine guns and anti-aircraft guns attacked from six directions. But they were driven back at 3 a.m., after six hours.

The rebels, who include defectors from Khadafy's mutinous army, celebrated by marching through the city's main square.

"We will not give up Zawiya at any price," said one witness. "We know it is significant strategically. They will fight to get it, but we will not give up. We managed to defeat them because our spirits are high and their spirits are zero."

Khadafy suffered a major blow when the head of his army's armored vehicles, Brig. Gen. Mansour Abu Hajar, switched sides, saying he had joined "the blessed revolution."

Rebels who hold most of eastern Libya said they were forming an army in preparation for the "liberation" of Tripoli, Khadafy's last stronghold.

"In Ajdabiya, we have more than 10,000 volunteers, not including official soldiers," Capt. Faris Zwei, a defector, said. "We are reorganizing the army, which was almost completely destroyed by Khadafy and his gang before they left."

But Khadafy was massing troops along the Tunisian border for new attacks, as refugees gathered nearby and tried to cross the border to safety. Up to 75,000 people have crossed into Tunisia in the last week, but tens of thousands are still trapped on the Libyan side.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/libya_rebels_in_rout_2u55BpAAYvQODuRrIO4yyI#ixzz1F ULvnEY4
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Old 02 Mar 11, 19:53
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The above seems to show that morale of the opposing sides is going to be key in this.

Latest from Al Jazeera blog:

1:35am

Clovis Maksoud, the former Arab League ambassador to the United Nations, tells Al Jazeera that the Arab League should take the lead in attempting to set up a no-fly zone over Libya.

He also thinks the Arab League is no longer as "fragmented" as it has been in the past, and that it has taken clear action so far on the situation in Libya.
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Old 02 Mar 11, 20:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philiplaos View Post
Clovis Maksoud, the former Arab League ambassador to the United Nations, tells Al Jazeera that the Arab League should take the lead in attempting to set up a no-fly zone over Libya.

He also thinks the Arab League is no longer as "fragmented" as it has been in the past, and that it has taken clear action so far on the situation in Libya.
It would be ideal if Arab countries would enforce the No-Fly Zone on Libya.

Let's give them the opportunity to show us they can handle it.
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Old 02 Mar 11, 20:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Persephone View Post
It would be ideal if Arab countries would enforce the No-Fly Zone on Libya.

Let's give them the opportunity to show us they can handle it.
Well, the Arab countries have more than enough military assets to do that. It is their problem - not ours. Let them sort it out. It's about time.

Meanwhile, another country half a world away is sticking its nose in, in a way that is likely to be of no help at all.

From Al-Jazeera:

Quote:
1:56am

Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela's foreign minister, calls for the formation of a bloc of "friendly countries" to begin a process of dialogue with Gaddafi's government as well as the opposition. Once again, the South American country has alleged that the US is searching for pretexts to invade Libya to take control of its energy resources.

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Old 02 Mar 11, 20:53
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The problem is, almost all of the Arab League Countries are run by dictatorships or absolute monarchies. They're probaly worried about the protest movement growing even larger when Ghaddfi falls, so they are taking little action.
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