Justin: These are the sights and sounds of what could be the beginnings of a new Libya, where cheering crowds and celebratory gunfire in Tripoli’s Green Square wash away memories of Libya’s longtime leader Moammar Qaddafi and his speeches to supporters in this very spot only months ago.
The eyes of the world are now on Tripoli. It is Libya’s capital. And experts say if Qaddafi and his fighters lose control of it to rebels, Qaddafi’s more than forty years in power will come to an end.
Some argue the end has already come as waves of rebel fighters pour into Tripoli with the mission to take down pro-Qaddafi fighters. The rebels have set up checkpoints and say they now control most of the capital, but Qaddafi supporters are said to be heavily armed and protecting his compound.
This rebel leader says his forces are looking out for Qaddafi’s snipers as they move closer to Green Square.
Battles broke out all over Tripoli where Qaddafi is believed to be hiding out and refusing to surrender. Three of his sons have already been captured.
Now NATO — which is a group of Western nations, including the U.S. — has called for Qaddafi’s troops to stop the fighting and it has launched more air strikes.
“The Qaddafi regime is clearly crumbling. The sooner Qaddafi realizes that he cannot win the battle against his own people, the better.”
Justin: NATO has been bombing Qaddafi strongholds for about six months. Their efforts helped rebel forces take Tripoli Sunday without much resistance from pro-Qaddafi fighters. The rebels destroyed many symbols of the Qaddafi regime as they entered Tripoli.
Rebels say their first priority is to establish law and order in Libya, but experts say that could be difficult. Libya is made up of many different ethnic groups and tribes which are somewhat isolated from one another and operate independently.
“This is a country that has deep divisions. It’s not a natural creation, and so there are tough times ahead. So everyone who has fought is going to want to have a sense of their reward, both in terms of the political and economic spoils.”
Justin: Commanders are warning that there are still large groups of Qaddafi fighters, and until he is caught, they say the danger is still out there.
Justin Finch, Channel One News.