Libya’s rebel forces have formed an interim government, even as Moammar Gaddafi’s troops continue their assaults against them, according to a report from Al Jazeera.
Mahmoud Jibril, who has been in contact with representatives of foreign states, will lead the new government as interim prime minister. Jibril earlier had met with French president Nicolas Sarkozy, a parley that led to France being the first country in the world to officially recognize the rebels' transitional council as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people.
Nisan Gouriani, a spokesman for the rebels, told Al Jazeera: The provisional national council is a legislative body, but we need an executive body to take control and provide an administration.
He added that the rebel’s position has been very clear from the beginning - that Libya is one unit.
Our capital is Tripoli and will forever be Tripoli, Gouriani said. We are striving to liberate the western parts of the country, and Tripoli, and keep the country united. We would like to emphasize this over and over again.
However, rebels only have control of the eastern parts of the country, and even some of that hold is tenuous at best as Gaddafi’s soldiers repeatedly launch brutal military offensives against them. The rebels lack the superior firepower and command structure of Gaddafi’s army.
Indeed, in defiance of air strikes by western coalition forces, pro-Gaddafi troops have attacked rebel positions in the towns of Misurata, Ajdabiya and Zintan.
In Misurata, an Al Jazeera reporter said: Gaddafi's forces have now taken over hospital in the town, and positioned snipers on the roof and tanks outside. The rebels are calling for a hospital ship to be sent in, as they still control the port, and say that would save many lives, as they now have nowhere to take their injured.”
The correspondent added: More civilian deaths have been reported in Ajdabiya and elsewhere, and they are calling on international powers to interpret the UN resolution more widely to support them with further attacks against Gaddafi's troops.
Meanwhile, Gaddafi has asserted that he will not give up and was prepared for a long and bloody battle to maintain control of his country.
He also disparaged the western coalition forces by saying This assault ... is by a bunch of fascists who will end up in the dustbin of history.