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Tuesday 26 September 2023 Dublin: 14°C
ANDREW MEDICHINI/AP/Press Association Images
# Gaddafi
Gaddafi defiant as rebels make gains on west
Opposition forces in Libya have launched an offensive that threatens the regime’s stronghold in Tripoli – however Gaddafi has remained defiant, calling on Libyans to arms themselves against “traitors”.

A DEFIANT MUAMMAR Gaddafi has called on the Libyan people to arm themselves against NATO and “traitors”, as the country’s rebel forces launch an offensive in western Libya that threatens his stronghold in Tripoli.

Yesterday, opposition forces launched a two-pronged offensive and made significant progress in capturing the strategically important town of Zawiya – just 50kms from the capital. Rebels are also attempting to capture the town of Gharyan, which Gaddafi is using as part of his supply route from Tunisia.

Bashir Ahmed Ali, the rebels’ battalion commander in Zawiyah told Al Jazeera that opposition forces were gaining on Gaddfi’s forces because residents joining them: “As they expected, residents took up arms and fought alongside them when they arrived,” said one Al Jazeera correspondent.

RTÉ reports that Tripoli would be completely isolated if both Gharyan and Zawiya fell - as rebels would be blocking supply routes and NATO blocking sea access.

In an audio message, broadcast on state TV, Gaddafi said: “The Libyan people will remain and the Fateh revolution [which brought Gaddafi to power in 1969] will remain. Move forward, challenge, pick up your weapons, go to the fight for liberating Libya inch by inch from the traitors and from NATO”.

He added: “Get ready for the fight … The blood of martyrs is fuel for the battlefield”.

Read: Libyan rebels claim capture of gateway to Tripoli>

Read: Libyan rebels fight Gaddafi forces in Zawiya>