Rebel forces in Libya have made significant advances in recent weeks, according to NATO officials. They’ve taken larger control of the northwest, including parts of Brega and Misrata, and are currently engaging forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi in the western city of Zawiya, home to Libya’s only functioning oil refinery. With these advances, rebel forces are now closing in on Qaddafi’s stronghold of Tripoli, seizing approaches to the city, while NATO forces dominate the skies and Mediterranean coast. (NATO aircraft have conducted more than 7,200 strike sorties since June.) Qaddafi remains defiant in the face of attacks and global diplomatic pressure, and his forces continue to exact a heavy toll on rebel forces and civilians.
Above A Libyan embassy employee steps on a portrait of Muammar Qaddafi outside the Libyan Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, on July 25, 2011, after the Libyan diplomat in charge of consular affairs staged a coup at his country’s embassy declaring it was now siding with the anti-Qaddafi forces. The embassy’s chief of consular affairs Ibrahim Al-Furis, with other diplomats, took over the embassy building in Sofia and announced their allegiance with the rebel Libyan forces. (AP Photo)
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