The picture emerging from this rugged terrain along Libya's southern border with Tunisia is that of a heavily outgunned rebel militia winning unlikely victories over Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.
Libya's rebels, based in Benghazi, are determined to fight Qaddafi's forces to the end – no matter how long it takes. But can they maintain unity?
Many Libyan rebels are devout Muslims; some have even supported Al Qaeda against US troops abroad. But Western support has raised their opinion of the US.
The two photojournalists Hetherington and Hondros, both men at the top of their craft, were among 10 people killed in the western Libyan city of Misurata yesterday.
In addition to dispatching military experts with Italy and Britain, France has pledged to increase airstrikes as Europe steps up military operations in Libya.
The British and French decision to send advisory forces to Libya stoked concerns about mission creep and accusations from Libya's government of overstepping the UN mandate.
The UK today announced it is sending 'experienced British military officers' to support and advise Libya's rebels. The Libyan government says it will fight any foreign troops on its soil.
Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s loyalists shelled the key eastern city of Ajdabiyah and fired on the only western rebel stronghold of Misratah as NATO airstrikes hit the capital, Tripoli.
At a meeting with European foreign ministers today in Qatar, Libyan rebels complained that the international military campaign has slowed since the US relinquished its leading role.
In Libya, the African Union is seen as a tool of Qaddafi's ambitions, not as a potential honest broker in the uprising against his 41-year reign.
The African Union's road map lays out a cease-fire to allow humanitarian relief and dialogue toward a settlement. Qaddafi has accepted it, while rebels are studying it.
In order to sustain operations, experts say France and Britain need to forge a broader European consensus on Libya intervention.
Libya rebels' outcry over a mistaken NATO airstrike demonstrates frustration with the alliance as the opposition realizes that international action is not intended to win their war for them.
A rebel enclave or safe haven would allow the opposition to build a vision for a post-Qaddafi Libya and to begin crafting institutions for that purpose.
NATO airstrikes in Libya may have killed rebel forces, but commanders have refused to apologize despite increasingly strained relations between the rebels and the military alliance.
Italy continued searching for survivors of a boat that capsized after leaving Libya for Lampedusa, the Italian island where thousands of migrants have landed since the start of Arab unrest.
For more than four decades, Libya's self-declared 'Brother Leader,' Muammar Qaddafi, has waged a brutal form of psychological warfare against his own people, analysts say. Rebel forces have also been shaped by that violent history.
Secretary Gates and King Abdullah share concerns about Al Qaeda in Yemen and Iranian influence in the region. Meanwhile, Libya's rebels demand more of NATO, and Syria's unrest simmers.
Libya's rebels want Brega's oil resources to finance their troops. Meanwhile, the US increasingly sees Yemen's Saleh as a destabilizing factor.
Italy today became the third nation to recognize Libya's rebels as the legitimate government, dealing a blow to attempts by Muammar Qaddafi and his sons to negotiate a diplomatic settlement.