A group of rebel fighters positioned about 9km from the entrance of Ajdabiya said there were 11 tanks stationed at the town's east gate, AFP reports. "When we try to advance they shoot at us with heavy weapons -- tanks and 14.5 calibre machine guns," they quote one fighter as saying. "All we have are Kalashnikovs
A Libyan government press trip to inspect some of the damage from bombing raids seems to have hit a snag. CNN correspondent Nic Robertson, in Tripoli, tweets: "Govt officials taking journalists into east Tripoli are lost and can't find the so-called damaged house. Just driving around."
Although the coalition has insisted there will be no boots on the ground, American ships in the Mediterranean – on standby to carry out humanitarian operations – are also crammed with Humvees, armoured trucks and weaponry and are capable of delivering hundreds of Marines to beach landings.
Meanwhile, a US military official said the wreckage of an F-15 fighter jet that went down in eastern Libya on Tuesday had been bombed "to prevent materials from getting into the wrong hands." Despite previous denials, a military source told The Daily Telegraph that as the pilot was rescued, strafing runs were carried out and two Harriers dropped two 500lb bombs on a convoy of Libyan vehicles.The cannon fire could explain why several civilians were injured by bullets fired during the mission near Benghazi.
"I've always believed that the mission determines the coalition, and the coalition not ought to determine the mission," he explained. Rumsfeld also questions President Obama's "reluctant leadership" and advance planning, while critiquing the overall U.S. response. "I suspect that one of the reasons that the administration didn't go to Congress is they didn't know what to ask for."
On the one hand, the leaders of Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela have criticized the mission as being a foreign intervention in a domestic Libyan conflict. At the same time, countries such as Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Panama, and Peru have backed the military action to varying degrees. Colombia, for example, voted in favor of the resolution, while others abstained from taking a position.
An international conference is to be held in London next week to take stock of developments in Libya and discuss the command structure for the allied military operations.