Gaddafi has told the Libyan people that his retreat from his compound in Tripoli, which was seized by rebels on Tuesday, is a tactical move. Michael Maloof, an ex-Pentagon official, told RT why the war in Libya is far from at an end.
After almost six months of stalemate, the rebel assault on Tripoli came as a surprise to many. But strategically speaking, some analysts find the rebels advance has left them spread thinly and therefore vulnerable to a counter-attack by loyalist forces.
“Two thousand tribes have pledged support to Gaddafi. We have not heard of them yet,” remarks Michael Maloof, who used to be an official at the Pentagon.
Maloof believes Gaddafi’s leaving Tripoli to the rebels “could be a strategic retreat on his part to begin waging guerilla warfare.” And the colonel still has the means to do that.
“Where are the Scuds? Where are all the chemical weapons he is said to have? I don’t think those have been discovered yet,” he continues.
On the other hand, the Libyan rebels look “undisciplined”, especially when they start firing in the air to mark military successes. And the rebels’ National Transitional Council does not seem to be doing anything to bring this under control, Maloof told RT.
Moreover, it is hard to account for rebels’ progress without acknowledging they get foreign assistance on the ground.
“The rebels had to have had some expert assistance in moving and logistical support of some kind,” says Michael Maloof. “They would be there as advisors and moving people around suggesting how to deploy. There also had to be somebody on the ground to coordinate targets for NATO aircraft to bomb.”