Ahmad Bani gives a press conference in Benghazi

Ahmad Bani, a commander of the revolutionaries, spoke today in Benghazi in a live press conference about the advance on Brega, the possibility of a political solution and the outlook for the near future. The following is a short summary of the press conference, with great thanks to ChangeInLibya.

Ahmad Bani said that the freedom fighters and the National Libyan Army have so far managed to successfully remove more than 400 mines from the Brega area.

Most of the freedom fighters were positioned at 60km point, the Brega industrial area, and are following a strict plan. They intend to move further west towards the town but they must be careful.

Bani stated that the goal was not to liberate Brega, but to push further west and liberate all cities under Gaddafi control.

He also expressed his thanks to the free nations of the world for their help, referring to the news that NATO promised more jets and resources for the Libya mission.

Regarding the talks of a political solution, Bani said that Gaddafi completely destroyed any chance of this happening. He also asked who they are to speak to if Gaddafi is not a leader, as the regime has consistently claimed Gaddafi has no official position and cannot step down. He said a political solution is out of the question unless these issues can be solved.

He added that the freedom fighters are too honourable and respectable to negotiate with an illegitimate man and said he trusts them to follow the NTC’s leadership.

There have been questions regarding the upcoming month of Ramadan and how the conflict will progress. Many western nations have expressed their hope for a political solution by then. Ahmad Bani today said that Ramadan will not stop them from fighting Gaddafi’s illegitimate army and that in fact it gives them the courage and drive to end this conflict.

Back on the topic of Brega, Bani said that they have enough equipment and fighters to counter the Gaddafi forces there. They have old very old tanks and equipment that they’ve managed to salvage from previous clashes and storage facilities, including ancient T-55’s.

He added that they have intercepted enemy communications and from them they have gathered that the troops are scared, distraught and disorganized and said that there will be news of Brega’s liberation when the time is right.

Ahman Bani stressed that they refused any foreign forces on the ground and that Gaddafi should be captured by Libyans. He reiterated that the UN resolution prevents the use of troops on the ground and that they do not want for this to turn into someone else’s sad memory. “We do not want people from other countries losing their children in Libya. This is a Libyan affair”.

He also accused several countries, without naming them, of opening their doors to Gaddafi and supplying him with mercenaries, weapons and fuel. The recent successes of the freedom fighters are due to pre-planning and coordination.

When asked regarding missiles and mining in the case of an advance on Tripoli, Bani said that these were scare tactics by Gaddafi. He said they will not give their forces the time nor the opportunity to “trick them”.

He also said that they have reports of Gaddafi forces at the front line being killed by their commanders if they retreat or move back and said that they consider any Gaddafi soldier that died trying to defect or refuse orders to kill civilians as a patriotic and honourable person.

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11 Responses to Ahmad Bani gives a press conference in Benghazi

  1. The duty of the Qatari force participating in the Peninsula Shield force is to contribute in restoring order and security” in Bahrain, Qatar news agency QNA quoted Colonel Abdullah Al-Hajri as saying.

    “As a Qatari force we are receiving our orders from the head of the joint Peninsula Shield Force. There are no Qatari forces outside the Peninsula Shield” in Bahrain, Hajri said.

    not much chance they’re “fu-cking” over Bahrain , but doing the right ting in Libya. Wouldn’t trust the eastern council any further than I cld throw them. They are definitely inthe way………..But it’s what you got for now……Watch your back closely as they say……Aint a whole lot of difference between friend and foe when you climb that ladder……………..

  2. JP says:

    Great news from the eastern front finaly!

  3. The duty of the Qatari force participating in the Peninsula Shield force is to contribute in restoring order and security” in Bahrain, Qatar news agency QNA quoted Colonel Abdullah Al-Hajri as saying.

    “As a Qatari force we are receiving our orders from the head of the joint Peninsula Shield Force. There are no Qatari forces outside the Peninsula Shield” in Bahrain, Hajri said.

    not much chance they’re “messsing” over Bahrain , but doing the right ting in Libya. Wouldn’t trust the eastern council any further than I cld throw them. They are definitely inthe way………..But it’s what you got for now……Watch your back closely as they say……Aint a whole lot of difference between friend and foe when you climb that ladder……………..

  4. Several months ago, the NLA advanced past Brega to Sirte, the hometown of Gaddafi. There, armed civilians helped hold the line.

    What plans are there for Sirte this time ?

    Perhaps bypass it on a desert road and leave 1,000 men behind to watch it ?

    Cut Sirte off from electricity, water and food and wait ?

    Or negotiate a peaceful ending ?

    I doubt Gaddafi will give up Sirte easily.

    • Free Azzawia says:

      FF never made it to Sirte?

      The furthest advance west on the Eastern front was Ben Jawad (about 170 km East of Sirte).

      They reached Ben Jawad on March 5, 2011 but were pushed back on March 6th. Then they retook it on March 27, and were pushed back on March 29.

      Next time, it will be different as FF will no longer advance like yoyos but rather ensure that positions are consolidaded and build up defenses before moving forward. After Brega comes Ras Lanuf (two important Oil & Gas centers) and by the time these 2 are retaken, it wouldn’t be surpising if the Western fronts (Zliten and Garyan) will also be retaken which could trigger a Kadafi colapse & defeat, even before needing to reach Sirte.

      • LibyanFriend says:

        Well not 100% true. FF advanced past Bin Jawad once (during late March) and took An Nawfaliya and came as far was Marsa Hawara near Sirte.

        Good news from the Brega front. I hope to hear of the Brega liberation today. Even though, I’m sceptic about this war “ending soon”: even if Brega falls, there are still enough cities and oil towns under Ghadaffi control. And don’t forget Tripoli!

        The ideal situation for a final push would be if the Misrata rebels capture Zliten and advance on Al Khums, if the Nafusa rebels took Gharyan and put pressure on Tripoli and if the eastern rebels would advance to Bin Jawad to threaten Sirte.

    • emca says:

      The Libyan army of the East is not the group of joy-riders seen in March chasing after Qaddafi’s in sandals clutching recycled armament, kitchen knives, mouthing unrealistic bravado. One look at the Adabiya checkpoint will show the difference.

      In deference to Qaddafi’s, neither are they the same army which fled NATO’s first barrages.

      Which makes Brega a true land battle and despite the words of Ahman Bani above, as James Miller (wherever he is) commented mouths ago, loyalists (forced or not) are well dug in and it will take time to root them out. Q’s are also not above land mines, petro-chemical trenches or any other means to slow the advance.

      My personal belief is Qaddafi’s are not good outside shelling from a distance (or sniping or mining), once pressed will falter, but let the army of the East, if they can, take Brega before jumping to Sirte.

  5. Free azz.thusfar that first run and gun methodology has gotten the fight much further than the council has even attempted……But then the council doesn’t really serve the people , but the business community……

    Let’s try this. If the rebel army now sits 20 miles outside of Brega, but Grad rockets hamper it’s ability to enter, why not form a circular seige of the town just outside the range of the grad rockets……They cannot have mined or maintain defenes from all directions………..

  6. IT is time to fire the military leadership in the council……..

  7. true libyan says:

    WARNING PLEASE IVE BEEN CALLING ALL DAY BUT THE LINE WONT PICK UP!!!!
    MY FAMILY IN CIRT CALLED ME AND SAID THAT THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO BREGA IS CLOSED AND THAT PEOPLE SAW DOZENS OF POISON GAS CONVOYS BEING TRANSPORTED, AND THAT THEY WILL BE USED AGAINST THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS IN BREGA!!!!!!!
    PLEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASE TELL EVERYONE

    • Factscout says:

      Even if this was possibly true, if Gaddafi used poison gas then he’d really be royally screwed, using WMDs? No one would defend him after that.

      That and most likely NATO will bomb the convoy causing the troops carrying it to die from their own gas. I doubt they’ll want to risk that.

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