This post is being constantly updated
All times are in Libyan local time GMT +2
- The reality of Ras Lanouf right now is that of bombardment, destruction and black smoke
- Gaddafi forces attacking revolutionaries in 3 ways: From the sea, from the air and with rocket launchers
- There is a ship that is firing heavily at the rear lines of the revolutionaries and it is at a distance of 1km away from the main road
- The revolutionaries have retreated back a little due to the excessive bombardment from Gaddafi forces
- Only the defected army forces with heavy artillery are still in the front line
- All volunteers carrying light weaponry have moved back
- The bombardment is heavy heavy heavy!
- There is extreme confusion regarding what Gaddafi’s forces are doing. They are moving forward with the intent of occupying all the key facilities and towns but they are bombing them first. They want to occupy Sidra Port but they have bombarded it and destroyed it. They want to occupy the oil facilitiy in Ras Lanouf but that too has been destroyed
- This is the heaviest bombardment that we have experienced since the beginning of the struggle towards the west
- Every 10 meters a shell or a rocket hits the ground
- The air strikes have not stopped the revolutionaries from pushing forward
18:17 Photos of destruction in Az Zawiya. Sourced from Libya NFSL on Picasa
18:02 @bencnn Ben Wedeman, CNN reporter in Ras Lanouf just tweeted: Intense air and land bombardment by Libyan government forces on going at Ras Lanouf. Most intense I’ve seen yet.
17:50 A big thank you to Tribulusterr for this. An updated map showing key locations on the main battle front in East Libya. This map also shows the oil storage facilities in Ras Lanouf area. Revolutionaries are in control of Ras Lanuf and all its oil facilities. Gaddafi forces have been pushed 20km west. Please click on the image for a larger view
17:47 Reuters Ras Lanuf, Sidra Port and Al Brega are under the complete control of the revolutionaries!
17:42 Reuters report on how the demonstrations in Tripoli today were swiftly crushed. They state:
Libyan security forces used tear gas and fired in the air to disperse worshippers near a mosque in the capital before they could protest against Muammar Gaddafi, a Libyan man said, citing two witnesses. There have been violent clashes after Friday prayers in previous weeks in Tajoura, making it the focus of opposition to Gaddafi’s rule in a city which is otherwise tightly controlled by his supporters. But this time the protest was stamped out before it had even begun, according to a Libyan from Tajoura, now living abroad, who said he had been in telephone contact with two residents.
17:31 A map which illustrates key locations in the east where battles are currently underway. The main oil installments, the town of Ras Lanouf and Sidra Port. Revolutionaries are currently in control of the oil facilities and the town of Ras Lanouf. Gaddafi’s forces have been pushed back 20km west of Ras Lanouf. Please click on the image for a larger picture
17:21 Al Jazeera English video reporting on the offensive that the revolutionaries are currently performing on Gaddafi forces in Ras Lanouf
17:14 Al Jazeera Gaddafi forces have entered Az Zawiya with tanks and heavy artillery. They have occupied the central square and have bombarded buildings and public areas. They have also raided the graves of the martyred and have transported their bodies to unknown locations.
17:10 Al Jazeera The 36th battalion (aka. AsSaeeqa, “the Thunderbolt”) which defected and joined the revolutionaries is taking the lead in pushing Gaddafi’s forces back and allowing the revolutionary forces to move foward
17:00 AP have compiled a fantastic description of the revolutionary force fighting for Ras Lanouf and pushing towards Tripoli:
“The front-line force … is surprisingly small. Not counting supporters who bolster them in the towns along their path, it is estimated at 1,500 at most Libyans from all walks of life, from students and coffee-shop owners to businessmen who picked up whatever weapons they could and joined the fight. No one seems to know their full size, and they could be picking up new members all the time …
“The rebel force is a leaderless collection of volunteers, operating in an evolving collaboration with soldiers who deserted various units over the past month and are still be trying to organise themselves. It’s not clear who, if anyone is giving orders …
“The volunteer militiamen largely have been acting and reacting as a pack to government assaults, launching initiatives wherever they can. They ride around in dozens of pick-up trucks, some with machine guns and anti-aircraft guns strapped to the back. Some rebels have weapons, while others seem hardly able to operate a gun …
“Many of the fighters come from Benghazi, the main city in the rebel-controlled eastern half of the country. They are united by hatred for Gaddafi and a burning desire to overthrow him and establish a state under the rule of law.”
16:541 Al Jazeera has just reported that the revolutionaries have started to re-enter Ras Lanouf after previous air strikes targeting its main oil facilities.
15:50 Al Jazeera After earlier targeting residential areas in Ras Lanuf, Gaddafi forces have now targeted a storage facility outside the city.
15:12 There is fierce ongoing fighting in Az-Zawiyah, Al Jazeera reports. The opposition remains in control of the city center, they say.
15:06 Al Jazeera Arabic reports that Bin Jawad has been evacuated in fear of further attacks by the Gaddafi regime.