Qaddafi's troops, rebels locked in standoff around Brega: April 5 Mideast update

Libya's rebels want Brega's oil resources to finance their troops. Meanwhile, the US increasingly sees Yemen's Saleh as a destabilizing factor.

  • close
    Libyan rebels monitor the field during an exchange of fire with pro-Qaddafi forces along the frontline at the outskirts of Brega, Libya, on Monday, April 4. Libyan rebels pushed into the strategic oil town of Brega on Monday but came under fire from Muammar Qaddafi's forces, as a government envoy began a diplomatic push in Europe to discuss an end to the fighting.
    Nasser Nasser/AP
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

Check back weekday mornings for a quick tally of the latest developments in the Middle East and North Africa.


Pro-government and rebel forces are still locked in a standoff around Brega, where both sides have been engaged in fighting since the middle of last week. Rebels took part of the city Wednesday, but have been the target of heavy fire from Col. Muammar Qaddafi's troops since then.

Recommended: Libyan rebels offer cease-fire. Does Qaddafi have the upper hand?

The rebel troops hope to retake Brega in order to be in control of the city's oil resources, which would provide a much-needed financial boost that could translate to more weapons, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Colonel Qaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, told the BBC that Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa had not actually defected from Libya. He said that Mr. Koussa was in Britain for health reasons and had been pressured into denouncing the Libyan government in order to secure immunity.

A Turkish ship evacuated hundreds of injured Libyan civilians from Misratah and Benghazi, bringing them to Turkey for medical treatment.


Protests and violent clashes carried on for another day Tuesday, both in Sanaa and Taez. The New York Times reports that some in the Obama administration now see President Ali Abdullah Saleh's refusal to step down as contributing to the country's instability, rather than crucial to keeping order in Yemen. Counting further against Mr. Saleh is the fact that counterterrorism efforts, a key reason for US support of Saleh, have been put on hold during the protests.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.