June 15th, 2011
09:37 AM ET

Daily Roundup: Escalation in Libyan war

Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.

NATO warplanes attacked Tripoli Tuesday night, while rebel fighters edged closer (Reuters) to the Libyan capital by pushing back government forces loyal to leader Muammar al-Qaddafi in the east and the west of the country.

In the west, rebels forced Qaddafi's forces to retreat (al-Jazeera) from the town of Kikla, about 150km southwest of Tripoli. While in the east, fighters launched attacks on government forces near the strategic oil town of Brega, a point considered vital to clearing the road to the capital.

The rebel advances came as Qaddafi's forces shelled a residential area (WSJ) in Msurata , disrupting the fragile peace in the rebel-held city, east of Tripoli. Meanwhile, according to the Guardian, the leader of Msurata , Sheikh Khalifa Zuwawi, appealed to NATO to rescue inhabitants of a neighboring town who are being "annihilated" by government forces. 


In Foreign Policy, Portia Walker outlines the challenges facing rebels in Msurata , a stronghold "deep in Qaddafi-held territory."

In the International Herald Tribune, Lynda Calvert, a visiting scholar at the NATO Defense College in Rome, argues that NATO is losing the "war of words" on Libya to Qaddafi.

In a recent op-ed for Foreign Policy, Georgetown University's Daniel L. Byman and CFR's Matthew Waxman discuss six reasons why it has been so tough to get Qaddafi to quit.

To receive daily updates in your inbox sign up for CFR.org's Daily News Brief.

MIDDLE EAST: Syrian Refugees Call for International Action

Syrians taking shelter in U.N. refugee camps in southern Turkey are calling on the international community (WSJ) to take action against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, whose violent crackdown in the northeast of Syria has forced over 8,000 people to flee.

In a CFR interview, Andrew Tabler discusses the "downward trajectory" of the Syrian regime, arguing that President Assad has an increasingly narrow base of support.

PACIFIC RIM: Group Says China Denies Help on Lead Poisoning

Hundreds of thousands of children suffering lead poisoning (Reuters) from polluting smelters and factories are denied testing, treatment, and the necessary information to combat the illness by local officials a report by Human Rights Watch says. 

Paupa New Guinea: Police are investigating the alleged murder (BBC) of a woman whose body was discovered at the home of acting Prime Minister Sam Abal. Police arrested Abal's adopted son Wednesday in conjunction with the inquiry.

SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA: Pakistan Arrests Bin Laden CIA Informants

Pakistan arrested five informants who provided critical information to the CIA in the months leading up the U.S. raid (NYT) on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, further complicating U.S.-Pakistan relations.

Sri Lanka: The UK is calling on Sri Lanka to investigate allegations of war crimes (al-Jazeera) following the release of a British documentary that claims to show troops executing Tamil prisoners at the end of the country's civil war in 2009.

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AFRICA: Deadly Attacks by Rebel Militia in South Sudan

A south Sudanese rebel militia killed twenty-nine people in a cattle raid yesterday, adding to the "south-south" violence (Reuters) that has claimed the lives of at least 1,500 people. Frequent gun battles between the army and at least seven different tribal militias have compounded the wider regional conflict between north and south Sudan ahead of the latter's formal succession in July.

In his blog Africa in Transition, CFR's John Campbell analyzes the conflict between north and south Sudan and claims of "ethnic cleansing" in the region.

Côte d'Ivoire: Over 300,000 residents remain displaced (Mail&Guardian) nearly two months after the country's post-election crisis, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said yesterday.

AMERICAS: Whites House Seeks Help in Debt Cap Fight

The Obama Administration is looking to the U.S. business community to help persuade Republican lawmakers to raise the country's borrowing cap (Reuters) before an August deadline so that the nation does not temporarily default on its interest payments, potentially plunging the country deeper into recession. 

United States: The Republican presidential primary debate signaled a shift in the post-9/11 hawkish GOP foreign policy line (NYT), with contenders arguing for a quick U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

EUROPE: Anti-Austerity Strike in Greece

Greece's major labor unions are in the middle of a 24-hour strike protesting further government spending cuts (Guardian), which are required for the country to continue receiving installments of a €110 billion EU-IMF rescue package that was granted last year. The strikes come as the EU debates a plan to provide Greece with additional financing to allow the country to meet its debt obligations and avoid default.

Economist Iain Begg says in a CFR interview that the European debt crisis will ultimately 'deepen' EU integration. 

Germany: The EU will grant farmers in northern Germany $304 million in aid (DeutscheWelle) to combat the fallout from the E.Coli breakout that killed thirty-seven people and forced huge losses on vegetable producers in the region.

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Topics: Daily Roundup • Libya

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. SarahPalin

    Everywhere I go there are idots all around me holding up signs and saying "Run Sarah Run". I try to "run" as they say but they keep following me. I don't know why all those idiots are here. Then there's all these reporters and stuff following me around too! WTF is going on?

    June 15, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  2. lili

    HI CNN is based on news they made up

    June 15, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  3. Onesmallvoice

    Barack Obama, David Cameron and Nickolas Sarkozy need to be indicted and tried for crimes against humanity in an internation war crimes tribunal for their malicious bombings of Libyan cities and killing Libyan civilians. These bozoes are living proof of just how fair life is not!!!

    June 15, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      Forget it, however unfair it seems, it wouldn't happen, the trio will get away with murder!

      June 15, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  4. Joseph Zrnchik, MAJ (Ret.)

    This Gaddafi/Viagra nonsense is nothing but propaganda and information warfare directed against the American people to get them to go for ANOTHER illegal war. It also shows that the ICC is a tool of Western powers.

    Notice the rebels are in the part of the country that contains all the oil.

    NATO Making Libya a Failed State


    June 16, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  5. Matt

    I could trade Assad as I traded Qaddafi with the GRU easy as, but I have nothing to trade, so Netanyahu can get stuffed unless he has something to trade himself.

    July 3, 2011 at 3:44 am | Reply

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