The remarkable Arab Spring has taken yet another remarkable turn. This time it’s in Tripoli, where rebels entered Libya’s capital city with shocking ease and, for the moment, appear poised to take control of the city and nation from Moammar Gadhafi. From the Associated Press:
Tanks opened fire at rebels trying to storm Moammar Gadhafi’s main compound in Tripoli on Monday, although the whereabouts of the longtime Libyan leader remained unknown a day after a lightning advance by opposition fighters who poured into Tripoli capital with surprising ease.
The international community meanwhile called on the longtime leader to step down as euphoric residents celebrated in the Green Square, the symbolic heart of the Gadhafi regime. NATO promised to continue airstrikes until all pro-Gadhafi forces surrender or return to barracks.
Rebel spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Rahman, who was in Tripoli, cautioned that pockets of resistance remained and that as long as Gadhafi remains on the run the “danger is still there.”
The rebels sure did transform from ragtag retreaters into capital conquerors in a hurry. Not one month ago, their commander was killed and the members of their executive board dismissed — signs of disarray on their part. Time will tell how their turnaround came about, and whether it will turn out any better than what seems to be happening in Egypt.
In any case, for Gadhafi’s sons to be brought into the rebels’ custody, and the dictator himself perhaps at the unwilling end of his 42-year regime, is another stunning moment in history.
– By Kyle Wingfield