Bombs away: Qaddafi sends 50 tanks, 120 trucks, planes to bombard Zawiyah

posted at 8:36 pm on March 8, 2011 by Allahpundit

We’ve written about Zawiyah before. The regime’s been trying to recapture the city for days, mainly because it’s the closest rebel stronghold to Tripoli. If they can pull it off, it’ll split the country into a western loyalist half and a rebel eastern half, giving Qaddafi some territorial leverage. Reading the British media reports of what’s happening there, though, it sounds like they’re not so much trying to retake the area as simply to flatten it. And doing a damned good job, too: An eyewitness tells the BBC, “I don’t know how many are dead – they tore Zawiya down to ashes.” More from Sky News, whose phone chat with someone on the scene is embedded below:

He told Sky News: “Here, it is chaos. Buildings completely crumbled, mosques brought down to ashes, blood flowing through the streets.

“No human should go through this… what kind of human would do this to another human?”

He added: “This is a completely full attack. Approximately 50 tanks have been bombarding the city, crushing everything in sight.

“It started at 10am today and still hasn’t finished. There are now a couple of aircraft hovering.”

Supposedly rebels still control the center of the town, despite the tanks and occasional airstrikes. I’m not sure which way this cuts on a no-fly zone, actually: It’s palpably clear by now that the White House and Pentagon (especially) would rather not impose one, and that if they change their minds, it’ll only be as part of an international effort. Sky claims that airstrikes are being used on the town, but they seem to be a minor, supporting element of the attack — a reality noted by the U.S. ambassador to NATO yesterday in arguing against a NFZ. If NATO institutes one anyway and Qaddafi’s tanks start rolling over people on the ground, it’ll be more humiliating for the west than inaction would be.

The rebels’ provisional governing council offered this morning to drop any international criminal complaints against Qaddafi if he scrams within 72 hours. Yesterday’s rumors notwithstanding, it seems he’s not going anywhere. A question for the defense experts in our audience, then: Since Britain and France are the ones spearheading the no-fly resolution at the UN, why can’t they impose a NFZ themselves (with logistical support from the U.S.)? We’re a bit overextended at the moment, and Obama’s allegedly worried about leaving American fingerprints on yet another theater of military action in the Middle East. Meanwhile, France and the UK each have an aircraft carrier in service that could be used to keep Qaddafi’s planes grounded. So why can’t they go it alone? Is it a matter of not having enough planes to provide round-the-clock air cover, or something else?

Update: No sooner do I ask the question than an answer appears.


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Muslims just doing their thing.

GardenGnome on March 8, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Pull our people out and let ‘em have at it.

Dark-Star on March 8, 2011 at 8:43 PM

“What kind of human would do this to another human?”

That i just a naive statement. Of course a dictator is going to do things like this, it is how they got to power and how they keep it.

astonerii on March 8, 2011 at 8:43 PM

BHO has warned him about doing this bad stuff…there will be consequences…/

d1carter on March 8, 2011 at 8:44 PM

Meanwhile, France and the UK each have an aircraft carrier in service that could be used to keep Qaddafi’s planes grounded. So why can’t they go it alone? Is it a matter of not having enough planes to provide round-the-clock air cover, or something else?

They could do it alone, but air strikes take a lot less in the way of assets than a no-fly zone requiring a constant air patrol.

sharrukin on March 8, 2011 at 8:44 PM

The idea being floated that Khaddafi would leave is stupid.
He has money and palaces, the insane hatred of now feeling betrayed and an armed military. He’ll flatten the whole country except the oilfields.
Unless we do something ( which is laughable) this is going to be ugly for the rebels.

jjshaka on March 8, 2011 at 8:45 PM

You would think that, Mr. My Father was a Muslim would want to stop the massacre of other Muslims. Maybe its me but I don’t think Barry is winning over the hearts and minds of Muslims around the world anymore. At least Barry got the White atheist elitist section behind him.

I think I hear the Nobel Peace committee calling Barry, “They said they want their prize back.”

Lance Murdock on March 8, 2011 at 8:47 PM

Since Britain and France are the ones spearheading the no-fly resolution at the UN, why can’t they impose a NFZ themselves (with logistical support from the U.S.)?

CDR Salamander lays out the logistics of a NFZ here. To shorten his article it requires (as he put it)

“There is only one way to do this: Carrier Aviation. American Carrier Aviation.”

Two on a shoestring and more to do it right. If we provide the carriers, what exactly do the Brits and French do?

Dawnsblood on March 8, 2011 at 8:52 PM

Since Britain and France are the ones spearheading the no-fly resolution at the UN, why can’t they impose a NFZ themselves (with logistical support from the U.S.)?

Cause leadership now days is talking tough while letting the UN make the decisions for you. I believe the Right Honourable David Carmeron would wet his pants if the decision was all his.

lowandslow on March 8, 2011 at 8:52 PM

He told Sky News: “Here, it is chaos. Buildings completely crumbled, mosques brought down to ashes, blood flowing through the streets.

Funny how we seem to have more respect for mosques than muslims do…

clement on March 8, 2011 at 8:58 PM

I’m having a really hard time getting excited or concerned about this, I must be suffering from Geopolitical Concern overload.

Bishop on March 8, 2011 at 8:58 PM

Escalation!!

canopfor on March 8, 2011 at 9:00 PM

“What kind of human would do this to another human?”

That i just a naive statement. Of course a dictator is going to do things like this, it is how they got to power and how they keep it.

astonerii on March 8, 2011 at 8:43 PM

No. It’s the actions of someone who wants to win a war. Make no mistake, this is a libyan War.

It’s a damn shame we don’t employ similar strategies in war as well.

MadDogF on March 8, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Here, it is chaos. Buildings completely crumbled, mosques brought down to ashes, blood flowing through the streets.

This quote was actually lifted from the SEIU newsletter talking about the effects of Governor Walker’s anti collective bargaining plan.

Bishop on March 8, 2011 at 9:01 PM

I’m having a really hard time getting excited or concerned about this, I must be suffering from Geopolitical Concern overload.

Bishop on March 8, 2011 at 8:58 PM

Bishop:Got a website for ya,from Military.com main site!:)
==========================================================

DefenceTech

http://defensetech.org/

canopfor on March 8, 2011 at 9:03 PM

Here, it is chaos. Buildings completely crumbled, mosques brought down to ashes, blood flowing through the streets.

This quote was actually lifted from the SEIU newsletter talking about the effects of Governor Walker’s anti collective bargaining plan.

Bishop on March 8, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Bishop:Lol,soooo true!:)

canopfor on March 8, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Update: No sooner do I ask the question than an answer appears.

It’s a good thing that Europe has all but turn their armies into suped up marching bands.

How sad that Europe can’t even have an air portal over the Mediterranean Sea.

Lance Murdock on March 8, 2011 at 9:04 PM

“Have I shown you this pH kit we bought with our own money? Our tomatoes didn’t do too well last year, and we decided to have the gardener check the soil before this growing season.”
 
- President Barack H. Obama in response to a question regarding the tank bombardment and civilian deaths

rogerb on March 8, 2011 at 9:07 PM

As AWACS Prowl Skies Above Libya, U.S. Contemplates How to Aid Rebels
============

Read more: http://defensetech.org/2011/03/07/western-awacs-prowling-skies-above-libya-as-u-s-contemplates-how-to-arm-rebels/#ixzz1G41znATa
Defense.org
===========
============

Gates: Enforcing A No Fly Zone Would Mean Air Strikes in Libya

Read more: http://defensetech.org/2011/03/02/gates-enforcing-a-no-fly-zone-would-mean-air-strikes-on-libya/#ixzz1G42neTbb
Defense.org

canopfor on March 8, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Obama last seen under his bed asking michelle what to do. What to do, what to do, what to do?

/This ain’t like no community organizing project I ever seen before!

BHO

Key West Reader on March 8, 2011 at 9:12 PM

I don’t really know what to say about or for these people. Apparently the Russians are squashing any U.N. help. The Won isn’t going to stick his neck out. Where is an Olie North when you need one.

Cindy Munford on March 8, 2011 at 9:14 PM

“What kind of human would do this to another human?”

The kind that worship a pedophile, frankly.
These people chop heads on youtube.

Hellooo! Mcfly, Mcfly!

esnap on March 8, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Update: No sooner do I ask the question than an answer appears.

Churchill would be proud.
“Never in the field of human conflict has so much could have been owed by so many to so few, if we only had enough planes”

lowandslow on March 8, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Excuse me.
Pedophile, praise be his name.

esnap on March 8, 2011 at 9:16 PM

I hope that these people can be protected somehow. Geeze oh petes, can you just imagine the horror of being a civilian or a child living under this kind of … what the heck do you call this?

Key West Reader on March 8, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Here are two terrorist

Besides both being terrorist, what does Obama’s buddy Bill Ayers and the Arizona shooter have in common? They both hate the American flag.

Nearly Nobody on March 8, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Update: No sooner do I ask the question than an answer appears.

This is horrible. Wow.

Key West Reader on March 8, 2011 at 9:19 PM

God how I’d love to see Obama do the right thing for a change. Have American airpower sweep the skies and bomb the crap outta K’daffy’s forces then sit back and watch the rebels win the war. Win-win.

“WINNING!” – Charlie

Tony737 on March 8, 2011 at 9:20 PM

let the other guy do it, no let this guy do it, no lets have him do it. There we have a consensus, let someone else do it.

If everyone is responsible no one is responsible.

rob verdi on March 8, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Meanwhile, France and the UK each have an aircraft carrier in service that could be used to keep Qaddafi’s planes grounded.

Allah, are you sure that French carrier is even available for action?

irishspy on March 8, 2011 at 9:30 PM

God how I’d love to see Obama do the right thing for a change. Have American airpower sweep the skies and bomb the crap outta K’daffy’s forces then sit back and watch the rebels win the war. Win-win.

“WINNING!” – Charlie

Tony737 on March 8, 2011 at 9:20 PM

Tony, I think it’s too late now.

Key West Reader on March 8, 2011 at 9:35 PM

AP, would you consider changing the headline lead to something along the lines of “Horror… quaddafi sends 50 tanks….” ?

Just sayin’.

Key West Reader on March 8, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Zawiyah burns while Barry dithers.

GarandFan on March 8, 2011 at 9:42 PM

Kooky moozies gettin their islam on.

Alden Pyle on March 8, 2011 at 9:50 PM

If NATO wants to help, give clandestine aid/training to the rebels — something akin to the special ops liason with the northern alliance, and arm them.

Otherwise, stay out of it.

Revenant on March 8, 2011 at 9:54 PM

The good news of having Obozo in charge, is that soon we’ll have “free health care” and some more of those “Liberal” utopian entitlement programs, and we also will not have enough planes to be the world’s police.
And that my friends, actually is good news.
Of course, the bad news is that we will be living in a socialist hell hole like the U.K.

KMC1 on March 8, 2011 at 11:08 PM

Has anyone actually wondered what do we do if KaDaffy wins thia.Have Obama and his wunderkins gamed this scenario?

xkaydet65 on March 8, 2011 at 11:10 PM

Who would do such a thing…. Janet Reno would did.

Dasher on March 8, 2011 at 11:35 PM

Bill Clinton managed to us the USAF to stop the Serbs and secure a Croatian win without even a UN resolution. If he can do it, why can’t Obambi simply bomb the hell out of the Libyan army. I guarantee that they’ll rethink supporting Ghaddafi duck.

NNtrancer on March 9, 2011 at 12:22 AM

Tank plinking, anyone?

Count to 10 on March 9, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Is it a matter of not having enough planes to provide round-the-clock air cover, or something else?

When you lack to resources to punish every offense, you can still take the “mad dog” approach: randomly select from the available targets and terminate it with extreme prejudice. The element of risk adds a psychological element that acts as a multiplier.

Count to 10 on March 9, 2011 at 9:18 AM

This wouldn’t be such a difficult undertaking had the Europeans (Britain, France, Germany, and Italy are the ones that I know of) not sold Qaddafi every sort of military hardware on his Wish List. Taking Libya off “The List” wasn’t a particularly astute move by “W” in my opinion, but arming the nut-case to the teeth was worse by far.

Now the task of grounding his air assets is measurably more difficult thanks to this short-sighted approach.

Consequences.

hillbillyjim on March 9, 2011 at 10:16 AM

obama will never do anything to hurt his pastor’s buddy. He’s already been told not to. He will obey. All he’s doing now is dithering, hoping for a resolution he can easily take credit for if it goes well or funnel blame (Bush, republicans, Sarah Palin, etc.) if it goes sour.

runawayyyy on March 9, 2011 at 2:31 PM