Libya: loyalists fight on while oil vultures circle

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

FIERCE fighting continues in Sirte as loyalist forces continue to repel Libyan rebel attempts to take over the only Mediterranean port still held by the Gaddafi government. Colonel Gaddafi has called on the people to rise up in mass resistance to the puppet regime and their Nato masters.

Loyalist troops continue to control Bani Walid in the north. Virtually all of southern Libya is in the hands of tribes loyal to Colonel Gaddafi and the biggest oil-field complex in Libya has been left in ruins after it was hit by a loyalist raid last week.

The rebel “National Transitional Council”, a motley crew of Islamic fundamentalists, Gaddafi turncoats and supporters of the hated monarchy overthrown in 1969 are united only in their total dependence on imperialist money and Nato air power.

Though they seized the capital, Tripoli, over seven weeks ago, deep divisions in their ranks still make it impossible for them to agree on the composition of a puppet government.

Mahdi al Harati, the Libyan-Irish commander who led the main rebel brigade into Tripoli in August, has resigned as deputy head of the Tripoli Military Council following rows over long-term security in the city.

And on the streets of the capital rival rebel gangs fight it out for control of the banks while the growing underground resistance spreads terror amongst the rebel ranks.

Muammar Gaddafi urged the Libyan people to make their voices heard against Nato and its puppets last week. “I call on the Libyan people, men and women, to go out into the squares and the streets and in all the cities in their millions to reject the National Transitional Council,” he said in a audio message broadcast on Syrian satellite TV last week. “Do not fear anyone. You are the people, you belong to this land,” he declared.

In the most of the towns along the Libyan coast controlled by the imperialist-backed rebels Libyans can only protest by displaying green flags and holding brief anti-imperialist demonstrations.

But in the capital an underground resistance has been set up to hit the rebels and drive out their Nato advisers. Snipers are targeting rebel commanders and Green Resistance units are ambushing rebel patrols and attacking their arms dumps across the capital.

Meanwhile big oil corporation hopes that the black oil would soon be gushing out again for the benefit of imperialism were dashed by a loyalist raid last week.

The El Feel Field in the deserts of southern Libya is the biggest oil field in the country. Known as the “Elephant” Field by western oil men because of its size, it was pumping out 130,000 barrels a day before the Nato-led rebellion. Now it’s unlikely to resume any production at all until the new year. The entire complex was completely destroyed by the loyalists including the airport, industrial equipment and electronic controls. ENI, the Italian oil company that is the major partner in the international consortium that exploits the field, was gloomy after it inspected the damage. “We cannot promise that production will resume by the end of the year,” ENI operations manager Mustafa Abugfeefa said. “Gaddafi’s troops have destroyed everything,”