In 6-Hour Battle, Libya Rebels Hold City

Pro-Gadhafi forces reportedly attacked Zawiyah from six directions
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2011 1:27 AM CST
Updated Mar 1, 2011 7:51 AM CST

(Newser) – In a long night of fighting, Libyan rebels armed with tanks, machine guns, and anti-aircraft guns have managed to hold on to Zawiyah, the city they seized on Sunday that happens to be nearest to Tripoli. Residents passed out sweets and cold drinks to fighters today and celebrated with a victory march after they managed to repel a six-hour attack by pro-Gadhafi forces, the AP reports. "We will not give up Zawiyah at any price," one fighter said. "They will fight to get it, but we will not give up. We managed to defeat them because our spirits are high and their spirits are zero."

Meanwhile, the US military is moving ships and planes closer to Libya as pressure builds on Moammar Gadhafi. The Pentagon says forces are being repositioned to "provide for that flexibility once decisions are made" on a no-fly zone and possibly other measures, the BBC reports. "Gadhafi has lost the legitimacy to govern, and it is time for him to go without further violence or delay," Hillary Clinton said. "No option is off the table. That of course includes a no-fly zone." The European Union has approved an arms embargo and other sanctions against Libya and the US has seized around $30 billion in Libyan assets, the New York Times reports. (Read more US military stories.)

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