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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Libyan Rebels Close In, President Obama Makes Statement

CNN is reporting that the 42-year rule of Moammar Gadhafi appeared on the verge of collapse early Monday, with rebel supporters making it to the same Tripoli square where regime loyalists had congregated for months.
But in a possible indication that the fight is not over, celebrations in Tripoli's Green Square gave way to tension Monday morning after rebels told CNN that they'd heard Gadhafi army forces were heading their way. CNN could not confirm any movement of Gadhafi forces.
A large fire, meanwhile, could be seen rising over the capital around 4 a.m. Monday from about 10 miles (16 kilometers outside the city).
The uncertainty came hours after news broke that two of Moammar Gadhafi's sons -- Saif al-Islam and Saadi -- had been arrested by opposition forces. Jumma Ibrahim, a rebel spokesman based in Libya's western mountain region, said both were captured in Tripoli.

Being kept abreast of the latest Syrian strife by his John Brennan while vacationing in Martha's Vineyard.   He made the following statement just moments ago:

"Tonight, the momentum against the Qadhafi regime has reached a tipping point. Tripoli is slipping from the grasp of a tyrant. The Qadhafi regime is showing signs of collapsing. The people of Libya are showing that the universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator.
The surest way for the bloodshed to end is simple: Moammar Qadhafi and his regime need to recognize that their rule has come to an end. Qadhafi needs to acknowledge the reality that he no longer controls Libya. He needs to relinquish power once and for all. Meanwhile, the United States has recognized the Transitional National Council as the legitimate governing authority in Libya. At this pivotal and historic time, the TNC  should continue to demonstrate the leadership that is necessary to steer the country through a transition by respecting the rights of the people of Libya, avoiding civilian casualties, protecting the institutions of the Libyan state, and pursuing a transition to democracy that is just and inclusive for all of the people of Libya. A season of conflict must lead to one of peace.

The future of Libya is now in the hands of the Libyan people. Going forward, the United States will continue to stay in close coordination with the TNC. We will continue to insist that the basic rights of the Libyan people are respected. And we will continue to work with our allies and partners in the international community to protect the people of Libya, and to support a peaceful transition to democracy".

Gadhafi's whereabouts were unknown. But he delivered a series of angry and defiant audio messages broadcast on state television. He was not shown in the messages. In the latest one, he acknowledged that the opposition forces were moving into Tripoli and warned the city would be turned into another Baghdad.

"How come you allow Tripoli the capital, to be under occupation once again?" he said. "The traitors are paving the way for the occupation forces to be deployed in Tripoli."

He called on his supporters to march in the streets of the capital and "purify it" from "the rats."

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