Libyan rebels battled their way back into a major oil port just 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Tripoli
on Saturday, forcing Moammar Gadhafi's troops to close the vital coast highway and key supply route from Tunisia. The renewed rebel offensive marked a significant rebound for opposition forces who were crushed and driven out of the city nearly three months ago. ...
While too early to mark a breakthrough in the stalemated civil war between Gadhafi forces and the rebels, who control roughly the eastern third of the country, an opposition offensive so near the capital was bound to put a nearly intolerable burden on Gadhafi forces.
They have been riddled by defections, badly hurt by ongoing U.N.-sanctioned NATO airstrikes and facing huge resupply problems as a result of the naval blockade that has clamped off ports. The international actions are designed to help the four-month-old rebel uprising to drive Gadhafi from nearly 40 years in power in the oil-rich North African country.