At the time of this writing, it’s 11.59 PM on April 15, the zone of the port is shelled, after a day of intense bombing. Bombing the city non-stop, on a day of prayer, is probably the infamous “surprise” that Saif Gaddafi promised Misrata on state TV the day before.
The Tamina Building snipers still haven’t left their positions. Cut off from their supply lines and surrounded by rebels, they try to avoid surrendering by looking for a way out. As a back up, Gaddafi forces tried to take back the street many times. Thursday, they tried to destroy the roadblock again, with the help of a tank and a caterpillar followed by a transport vehicle. They were repelled one more time by the rebels. From one of their positions, further away from Tripoli Street, Gaddafi forces shell the zone with mortar and cluster bombs: after a loud hiss, 10 seconds later 6 bombs are scattered over a 40 meters zone. The shebabbs now fear those more than RPG or attack rifles used by snipers who are quickly running out of ammunition. To protect themselves from cluster bombs, they keep doors open and dug holes through the walls to escape as quickly as possible.
Like the ones located in the Tamina Building, most of the Gaddafi snipers in the area are surrounded, sometimes alone, without water or food for a week, with the corpses of their colleagues rotting in the nearby appartments. Isolated in various buildings, the mercenaries sometimes cross the street in the open to reach other positions. Those who used to hold the streets for four weeks, shooting at everything on sight, are now on the defensive, and only shoot when they have no other alternative. In many places, the shebabs installed loudspakers with which they harrass the snipers and ask them to surrender. On the roof of another building, a white flag was raised. How serious a rendition is can only be confirmed in one way: put down the weapons and leave the building. Urban combats seem endless here. After weeks of urban guerilla, the experience and determination of the revolutionaries is tilting the balance of power in their favor in the center of the city.
But at the port, a very strategic point North of the city, bombings by Gaddafi forces have only intensified in the past two days. That zone is at once the only access to the city and its lifeline: an industrial complex, a power station, oil depots, etc. Yesterday morning, a rain of bombs hit the civilian buildings near the port for two long hours. 23 people were killed. At the same time, at least four tanks and 30 cars belonging to Gaddafi forces tried a breakthrough on the main road from the Qasr Hamad port to the Highway. After much tank shelling, largely inefficient against the containers filled with sand that blocked the street, the shebabs (with much delayed NATO support) managed to destroy 4 tanks and to take a few vehicles, losing one fighter in the battle.
In Misrata, people are bitter when it comes to NATO. Faced with constant bombing and shelling, the current air support doesn’t bring about much change. They are hoping for more but remain very clear when it comes to a possible deployment of foreign troops. All agree: “This war is ours, now we need weapons.”
Voir le profil de Te@m Taz sur le portail Overblog