The fight for Bani Walid – a stronghold of former leader Muammar Qaddafi – is a critical step in the complete 'liberation' of Libya from Qaddafi's rule.
NATO destroyed eight Libyan warships Friday in a week that saw a push for ICC arrest warrants for Qaddafi and a tough speech from Obama supporting the rebellion.
Libyan rebels saw significant progress on both the military and diplomatic front in recent days, even as Qaddafi's regime disparaged their efforts.
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.
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.
While most experts say Qaddafi is grossly exaggerating the influence of Al Qaeda, new questions are being raised about its true scope as Washington debates arming the opposition.
Libyan state media showed images of those it claimed were killed and wounded in ongoing Western airstrikes, but civilian casualties have been difficult to independently verify.
On a tour of a missile storage area that was still smoldering, Libyan officials cast the UN-sanctioned air strikes as contrary to Western values and inconsistent with the stated aim of protecting civilians.