Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tip of the Spear

Libya's south is still not settled down:

Three days of clashes between rival militias in southern Libya spread to the centre of the country's fourth largest city Sabha on Tuesday despite the deployment of army troops trying to stop the violence which has so far killed nearly 50 people.

This seemed like a pro-Khaddafi revolt a while back, if memory serves me. But later that seemed less clear. It is at least clear that control is being contested. If pro-Khaddafi (notwithstanding Khaddafi's room temperature status) forces want to mount a counter-attack, they'll need to do it from the south where they can draw supplies and mercenaries far from potential NATO air power. If Tuaregs can emerge from the recent fighting with a base of power in Mali, they would be a source of manpower and a deep rear area.

Sabha matters a great deal. If factional fighting continues among the victors of the Libya civil war to the point that the country starts to splinter, the Khaddafi faction could yet reorganize to mount a counter-attack to seize Tripoli and perhaps settle for half a loaf.