As the world awaits the first manifestations of the no-fly zone over Libya, Gaddafi forces continue its bombardment campaign on Misrata and Benghazi despite his declaration of a ceasefire. Videos showed utter destruction in the western part of Benghazi. Angst is growing amongst rebel leaders on what they perceive as the delay in deploying the no-fly zone. Meanwhile, Gaddafi is engaged in a last ditch effort to position his forces as close to Benghazi as possible, maybe in anticipation of a stalemated conflict in Libya.
In fact, short of substantial international military support beyond the no-fly zone decision, rebels couldn't probably topple Gaddafi in Tripoli. A lack of greater international involvement, short of ground invasion, could see Libya split into two parallel de facto region of influence. The Paris summit underway could go farther into providing much needed logistical and military support for the rebels. The summit also features Arab participation of Morocco, Jordan, UAE and Qatar part of what appears to be a gathering of an impressive international coalition against Gaddafi. In the coming hours, we should expect air strikes against select pro-Gaddafi targets. Such action is direly needed in order to destroy the air and ground capabilities of Gaddafi's forces. The latest reports suggest that Gaddafi is gathering civilians as a human shield around potential sites for international air strikes.
The coming days could decisively determine the future of the conflict in Libya. Hopefully the writing on the wall is clear for some in Gaddafi's entourage, and there is some substantial defection in his inner circle. However, that is highly unlikely as that circle is tightly knit and comprises his own sons with their military forces and members of his tribe. Gaddafi has shown utter contempt and disregard for the Libyan people, shelling at will in an attempt to punish those that dared to defy his dictatorial rule. Let's hope the international intervention swiftly bring about a successful conclusion to the turmoil in Libya, one that see Gaddafi's regime crumble.