As Gadhafi Forces Gain, Libya Stalemate Looms

Country could be looking at an east-west divide
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 8, 2011 7:12 PM CST
Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi arrives at a hotel to give television interviews in Tripoli, Libya Tuesday, March 8, 2011.   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
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(Newser) – After dramatic successes over the past weeks, Libya's rebel movement appears to have hit a wall of overwhelming power from loyalists of Moammar Gadhafi. Pro-regime forces halted their drive on Tripoli with a heavy barrage of rockets in the east and threatened today to recapture the closest rebel-held city to the capital in the west. If Zawiyah, on Tripoli's doorstep, is ultimately retaken, the contours of a stalemate would emerge—with Libya divided between a largely loyalist west and a rebel east as the world wrestles with the thorny question of how deeply to intervene.

President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron agreed to plan for the "full spectrum of possible responses" on Libya, including a no-fly zone. A spokesman for the opposition's newly created Interim Governing Council in Benghazi, meanwhile, said a man who claimed to represent Gadhafi made contact with the council to discuss terms for the leader of four decades to step down. Mustafa Gheriani said he could not be certain whether the man was acting on his own initiative or did in fact represent Gadhafi. "But our position is clear: No negotiations with the Gadhafi regime."

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