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7 Oct, 2011 19:35

Battle for Libya ‘far from over’

As the latest assault on Sirte, the hometown of Muammar Gaddafi, is underway and there are no signs that NATO is going to leave Libya anytime soon, the conflict in North Africa seems to be far from its end.

Reports say the interim government's troops have now largely taken Sirte, but are still meeting pockets of heavy resistance.Hundreds of vehicles are pouring into the outskirts as the city is pounded with heavy shelling.Though thousands of civilians have left the city, many more are thought to have remained.The assault comes after Colonel Gaddafi, in an audio message, urged Libyans to resist the interim leaders.“The battle is far from over,” says activist and journalist Sukant Chandan. It is now clear to the world that civilians are being targeted in Sirte, he says quoting the AFP reports on civilian casualties. “Nevertheless Sirte is still resisting.” He points out that the media have stopped talking about another Gaddafi stronghold, Bani Walid. “Basically the pro-NATO rebels in Libya have given up taking Bani Walid,” he believes.There are no signs whatsoever that NATO is going to leave, Chandan says. “NATO just said that it will intervene even further if relationship among the rebels continues to worsen.”By vetoing UN resolution on Syria, “China and Russia have admitted that they were fooled over Resolution 1973 on Libya and they are not going to be fooled again,” the journalist states.According to Chandan, Syrian President Bashar Assad is doing the right thing for any leader of the “Global South.” He explains that if NATO attacks Syria, Assad will start bombing Israel, get Hezbollah bombing Israel, and Iran will target Western interest in the Gulf.“This is the only way to face the world bullies which is NATO,” he claims.