CIA's Presence In Libya Gives Little Relief As Rebels Flee Eastward
"Dispirited" rebels have been pushed out of key eastern cities in mass retreat despite NATO bombing campaigns designed to bolster them. Britain's Daily Mail called it a "Mad Max-style retreat":
"Libyan rebel forces retreated in disarray yesterday as the battle in the east swung dramatically in favour of Colonel Gaddafi. The oil town of Brega changed hands for the sixth time in six weeks, as regime troops backed by heavy artillery won back most of the ground they had lost in recent days."
Rebel fighters have lost more than 100 miles of territory in the last 48 hours or so, hampered by inferior weaponry and supplies (not to mention a general lack of training). CBS News reports:
"Outgunned and often outflanked in the field, they lack any sort of military strategy or leadership. They are eager to take ground, but are quick to flee when they face any real fighting. The reality is that a rebel military victory seems increasingly unlikely."
With the rebellion's failure staring them in the face, Western powers are debating how they should proceed. President Obama has promised not to send in ground troops, but NATO may be open to it.