Libya Rebels Advance, Buoyed By Allied Airstrikes: "ZWITINA, Libya -- Libya's rebels scrambled to try to exploit international strikes on Moammar Gaddafi's forces and go on the offensive, as some of the opposition's ragtag citizen-fighters charged ahead to fight troops besieging a rebel city Monday. But the rebellion's more organized military units were still not ready, and the opposition disarray underscored U.S. warnings that a long stalemate could emerge.
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The air campaign by U.S. and European militaries has unquestionably rearranged the map in Libya and rescued rebels from the immediate threat they faced only days ago of being crushed under a powerful advance by Gaddafi's forces. The first round of airstrikes smashed a column of regime tanks that had been moving on the rebel capital of Benghazi in the east.
Monday night, Libyan state TV said a new round of strikes had begun in the capital, Tripoli, marking the third night of bombardment. But while the airstrikes can stop Gaddafi's troops from attacking rebel cities – in line with the U.N. mandate to protect civilians – the United States, at least, appeared deeply reluctant to go beyond that toward actively helping the rebel cause to oust the Libyan leader."