Friday, April 29, 2011

World News: Libya NewsGaddafi Loyalists Spill Over Into Tunisia

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An unexpected new conflict -- reports indicate forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi spilled over into neighboring Tunisia in their efforts to chase rebels in the western border town of Dahiba.

ANITA MCNAUGHT: “Things have taken an extraordinary turn at this crossing, Nick. We understand that not only have Gaddafi troops crossed over the border crossing into Tunisia, but they are now engaged in combat in the border town of Dehiba with Tunisian forces trying to stop them from advancing any further.

Dahiba was captured by the rebels last week, prompting retaliation from loyalist forces and the fight that took them into another country -- but it wasn’t just soldiers crossing. Sky News says there was some firepower thrown over the line as well.

ANCHOR: “Well, there was a very intensive attack by the Libyan government forces on this important border crossing at Dahiba. In which there were also some rounds, including mortar, three mortar rounds fired into Tunisian territory. Most likely by the Gaddafi forces. They were also using snipers across that border position at one point.”

Tunisian military have captured fifteen vehicles from Gaddafi forces and experts say the border town of Dahiba is vital to the rebel cause. The Wall Street Journal calls it...

“...a significant advance beyond their eastern Libyan strongholds that enabled them to bring in supplies by road through the Tunisian border... Loss of the crossing would sever the rebels' only paved road to the outside world.”

And that isn’t its only importance -- The Christian Science Monitor says the rebel occupation of the town represents Gaddafi’s weakening control over the western side of the country.

“...Qaddafi, who has mostly been focused on Misurata (Miz-raa-tah) for weeks, is now being drawn in other directions. While a few weeks ago Misurata was seen as a lone western holdout, its successful defiance of the government ... has inspired rebel gains elsewhere in the west.”

According to Reuters soldiers loyal to Gaddafi have been returned over the border and the town is now firmly in the hands of the rebels.

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