El-Baghdadi Mar 9 Status Report on Libyan Military and Diplomatic Fronts

A Point of View, Politics | | March 9, 2011 at 15:39

Here is a compilation of Tweets from Iyad el-Baghdadi (@iyad_elbaghdadi) who gives one of the best MOST OPTIMISTIC status reports on military action in Libya. He also talks about today’s Gaddafi delegation visit to Cairo.

If you are looking for a TOO hopeful report on the outcome of the Libyan Uprising or Revolution – whatever you want to call it – this is the one to read.

Please note his last tweet on this subject: “Have to remind people who complain about me giving too many details, I only release info that has already become public.”

Here’s his Twitter report:  MY NOTES THE VERY NEXT DAY (MAR 10) ARE IN RED –

On the western front, all of Gaddafi’s troops have been bogged down around Zawiya, still unable to take it. REPORTS SAY ZAWIYA HAS BEEN LEVELED.

There haven’t been attacks on Misurata or Zintan. But security clamp downs reported in Msillata.

Despite all the bombing, the blockade, the brutality, Zawya stands tall BEEN LEVELED. It stands in pain, even exhaustion, but with pride.

We know that the Nafusa mountains towns, esp. Zintan, started attacks on Gaddafi. How much they are affecting him is still unclear.

It seems Gaddafi wanted to give a speech from Zawiya, but his troops couldn’t take it, so he had to settle for Mayah (15 kms away).

It seems in their desperation today to take Zawiya, Gaddafi troops lost a Major General and a Colonel, killed in rebel counterattack.

Going to the eastern front now, the major development is that the revolutionaries are not fighting “ad hoc” anymore…

If you remember, Brega and Ras Lanuf were taken from Gaddafi by volunteers with lots of zeal but little strategy.

Again with much zeal and very light weapons, they had earlier advanced nearly to Sirt, but got orders to pull back to Ras Lanuf.

Reports from Ras Lanuf now say that the army is in charge there; professional soldiers and heavy equipment. Volunteers follow orders.

RAS LANUF HAS BEEN BOMBARDED FROM THE AIR AND THE SEA AND ATTACKED BY TANKS. FREE LIBYAN FORCES HAVE PULLED BACK.  THE HOSPITAL IN RAS LANUF HAS BEEN SHELLED.

The army had earlier stopped anyone from advancing without orders, and moved heavy equipments past Ras Lanuf.

In fact today they used Katyushas, Grads, and heavy artillery to bomb Gaddafi troops in the Bin Jawad area.

There seems now to be zeal, plus strategy and heavy equipment on the revolutionary side in Ras Lanuf.

Earlier today they asked volunteers to pull back 20 kms from Bin Jawad, a safe distance for heavy bombardment of Gaddafi positions.

At least one military analyst said that these developments have shocked Gaddafi’s troops in the area. I can imagine.

THEY MAY HAVE BEEN SHOCKED, BUT THEY HAVE RECOVERED.

The weakness still suffered by the revolutionaries is that Gaddafi still has an airforce while they don’t…

We know revolutionaries may have a few jets but it’s unclear why they’re not using them – unable or unwilling?

GADDAFI IS NOT HOLDING BACK ANYTHING NOW. OR MAYBE HE IS  – AND HAS EVEN MORE.

So far, Gaddafi’s use of airforce has been light, which itself raises questions about what shape his airforce is in…

It could be that Gaddafi’s jets are in bad shape due to chronic poor maintenance, or that he’s low on qualified pilots.

In all cases it’s unlikely that rebels will make a bold, direct push into Sirt before solving the “airforce problem”, or a NFZ.

The other option is to gradually move the line forward as they are doing now near Bin Jawad.

FREE LIBYA MOVING BACK AND NOT AHEAD. NOT THEIR FAULT. THEY ARE GETTING MASSACRED BY OVERWHELMING MILITARY POWER.

Keep in mind that Gaddafi’s units in Bin Jawad are 150 kms away from their supply base. Revolutionaries are only 50 kms away.

Going to the political front now, I’m sure you heard about the three planes having left #Libya on “diplomatic missions” today…

At least one of them arrived in Cairo for talks with the army there. Nature of talks unclear, but talk about poor timing…

#Gaddafi’s envoy arrived just a couple days after Sharaf, the “revolutions candidate” took over as prime minster of #Egypt.

Also, #Gaddafi’s envoy seems to have arrived in Cairo unannounced. In any case, he’s unlikely to find a sympathetic audience there.

EGYPT’S SILENCE ON THE CONTENT OF THE TALKS OR ANY AGREEMENTS, REACTIONS ETC DOES NOT BODE WELL. SILENCE MEANS SECRETS. PORTUGAL CAME RIGHT OUT AND SAID “GADDAFI YOU NO LONGER REPRESENT LIBYA.” AND ANNOUNCED IT PUBLICALLY.

Some speculate that these visits have to do with a possible compromise or even an offer by #Gaddafi to step down, but I doubt it.

More likely, I think #Gaddafi is running low on ammo & supplies and he’s trying to secure them from outside.

Today’s attacks on oil port installation/reservoirs smack of extreme desperation. He wanted to take them, now he’s bombing them.

As you know, you only bomb assets if you have no hope of capturing them. I think #Gaddafi’s giving up on retaking Ras Lanuf.

GADDAFI HAS RETAKEN RAS LANUF ALTHO TWEETS SAY FREE LIBYA STILL HOLDS REFINERY. AFRAID IT’S LIKE THE ALAMO THOUGH.

As days go by, revolutionaries are getting stronger. Every day Zawya stands, every day they get closer to Sirt…

Gaddafi gets weaker every day he fails to take a city; every day he has to fall back closer to Sirt…

To date #Gaddafi couldn’t take even a single armed city, with all his might & brutality. His troops are definitely not in good shape.

GOOD ENOUGH TO FIGHT RUTHLESSLY TODAY.

Every day, Gaddafi’s ability to raise troops, arm them, motivate them and supply them plummets…

And every day revolutionaries ability to raise troops, arm them, motivate them, and supply them improves…

THIS DAY DOESN’T LOOK LIKE GADDAFI IS WEAKER.

With an NFZ, I think this will be over in days. Without it, it may take longer, but the results are already clear to me.

Just remember this isn’t a game of head-count. It’s about ability to put troops on the field. Who would want to fight for the loser?

INDEED – WHO WOULD WANT TO FIGHT FOR A LOSER? TODAY’S BATTLEGROUND VICTORIES AND THE FAILURE OF EUROPE/ARAB WORLD/US MAKE IT UNLIKELY THAT GADDAFI WILL BE TAKEN DOWN BY ANYONE IN HIS INNER CIRCLE.

His last line tells why it’s so important to win the media war. Perception is reality.
Let’s hope he’s right. We’ll look back in a few days and check the outcome.
Tags: , , , , , , ,