Soldiers loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi have again taken the key oil port of Brega, driving away rebel forces 20 kilometers away to Ajdabiya under a heavy bombardment of rocket and artillery fire.
The renewed offensive by pro-government forces resumes the ongoing battle as a push-me, pull-you stalemate. (Rebels had recently taken Brega and claimed it as their own).
According to witness reports, both sides of the conflict exchanged heavy gunfire during the battle at Brega
When you see this, the situation is very bad. We cannot match their weapons,'' an opposition soldier told Al Jazeera. If the [western coalition] planes don't come back and hit them we'll have to keep pulling back.
Al Jazeera reported that earlier on Tuesday air strikes by NATO warplanes targeted eight of Gaddafi’s vehicles which were moving towards rebel positions.
Brega appears to be the front-line on this seemingly ceaseless civil war.
A reporter for Al Jazeera commented: We haven't seen such a push [by Gaddafi’s troops ] for a few days, over the past few days it actually seemed as if the opposition forces were able to hold some sort of position around the town of Brega. Well, today the situation was completely different. The Gaddafi forces were much more aggressive than they had been in the past days, it seem that maybe they had received new supplies, but certainly they have been pounding much more intensely than over the past few days.
Meanwhile, NATO’s chief of allied operations, Brigadier General Mark van Uhm, said his new number one priority is the town of Misrata in the western part of Libya, where residents have been under threat for weeks by Gaddafi troops
Misrata is a number one priority because of the situation on the ground over there,” Van Uhm said.
“We have confirmation that in Misrata tanks are being dispersed, being hidden, [and] humans being used as shields in order to prevent NATO sorties to identify targets.”