Qaddafi likens Western airstrikes to 'Hitler's campaigns'
Amid London talks on Libya's future, Qaddafi shows no signs of stepping down and loyalist troops today repelled the westward advance of rebels who had gotten nearly to Sirte, Qaddafi's hometown.
In Pictures Libya's critical transition
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Bolstered by Western airstrikes, the rebels had been moving rapidly toward Muammar Qaddafi's hometown of Sirte after retaking the key eastern city of Ajdabiya over the weekend, recapturing the oil towns of Brega and Ras Lanuf along the way.
But that advance stopped on Monday some 20 miles east of Sirte, where rebel forces – which have proven themselves to be disorganized and sometimes dangerously bold – ran into the defenses of the strategically important city. In a panicked retreat under fire on Tuesday, the rebels reportedly moved back to the hamlet of Bin Jawwad, just west of Ras Lanuf.
Qaddafi decries 'barbaric, unjust offensive'
They were expected to spell out plans for a cease-fire, safe path to exile for Qaddafi – perhaps in an African country – and a proposal to discuss the future of Libya with the opposition and tribal heads.
But Qaddafi has shown no sign of being willing to step down or step away, after nearly 42 years at the helm in Libya.
“Stop your barbaric, unjust offensive on Libya,” Qaddafi wrote in an open letter published on the state-run news agency Jana.