September 27th, 2011
10:06 AM ET

Anti-Gadhafi forces control port in Sirte

About 200,000 Libyans remain under threat as Moammar Gadhafi loyalists battle to the end in the only two areas still contested in Libya: Bani Walid and Sirte, the coastal birthplace of the fallen leader.

Fierce fighting yielded a path into Sirte's port Tuesday for revolutionary fighters, approaching the besieged city first from the south, then the west. With supply routes largely severed, water, food and medicine are in short supply, said Col. Roland Lavoie, military spokesman for NATO.

He said the shortages and a lack of electricity have placed enormous pressure on the civilian population, who are also being used as human shields by Gadhafi loyalists. One of their staging areas has been the main hospital in Sirte, where Gadhafi's fighters feel protected from NATO airstrikes.

Control over the strategically important Sirte port has changed hands before - anti-Gadhafi fighters have previously taken the port during the day and retreated at night.

"We consider it contested," Lavoie said about Sirte. "So it means that a big part of the town is controlled by Gadhafi forces."

He said National Transitional Council forces have made significant gains in Sirte over the last three days but it would be "premature to go farther than that" in making an assessment.

Meanwhile, in the eastern city of Benghazi, transitional council members were meeting for a third day to discuss forming a government.

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Filed under: Libya • World
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    Average joe is incorrect.
    The US did not lead the airstrikes "pretending" to be NATO.
    France led the most airstrikes, followd by the Unted States.
    I don't know why the insistance on false information, unless it is because of the hated for all things Obama.

    September 27, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Lol. After all the wars W *started*, people have a problem with obama helping an ally. If W was still running things, we'd have ground troops in there and be 7 months into iraq2: no more mo.

      September 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    @US Citizen:
    Of *course* the US is flying their missions under the NATO flag; it's a NATO MISSION!
    Bobcat's not the fool.

    September 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    "We flew most all the strike missions pretending to be NATO."
    There is no pretending going on here. SMH.
    The US didn't start this.
    NATO did.
    The US entered it
    at the behest of NATO.
    Naturally, the US would be flying under NATO's flag, as it is a NATO mission.
    What other flag *should* they be flying under?
    There is no subterfuge here.
    Only the spin of the
    radical right-wing media.

    September 27, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    @leeintulsa: 😉

    September 27, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tif31

    Why ya'll showin so much love here ? Sounds like the nations athe UN general assembly.

    September 27, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. the Prophet

    banasy – The US has led this from day 1. France flies recon missions but the US does all the strike missions. You must not have any military experience or you would have known this. Be careful what you write.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
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