Multiple news sources are reporting that Libyan rebel forces advanced to western Libya with support from NATO air strikes targeting Sirte, the hometown of Muammar Qaddafi. The reports came hours after the NATO Western alliance agreed to take command of military operations from the U.S.
Nine explosions were heard in Sirte as planes passed overhead. Armed forces loyal to Qaddafi were seen driving around in pickup trucks. Abdel Rahman Shalgham, Libya’s former ambassador to the United Nations, told Al Jazeera television that the rebels had taken control of Sirte.
Libyan Government Spokesman Moussa Ibrahim says, “What the West wants in Libya is not democracy, you want oil. Oil is thicker than blood for many western goevernmnts.”
Rebels also recaptured the oil ports of Brega and Ras Lanuf, after U.S.-led aerial bombardment of government positions in the area.