LIBYAN rebels came under fire on the outskirts of Ajdabiyah yesterday, forcing them eastwards and denting hopes of an end to the war’s stalemate.
One witness said he saw around a dozen rockets land near the western entrance to town, which rebels wanted to use as a staging post to retake the oil port of Brega.
But although some rebels made it into the outskirts of Brega, 50 miles to the west, many others retreated to Ajdabiyah after six were killed by rockets fired by Gaddafi loyalists.
Yesterday marked a month since the UN Security Council passed a resolution authorising force to protect civilians in Libya.
The United States, France and Britain said last week they would not stop bombing Gaddafi’s forces until he left power. But despite NATO air strikes, rebels have been unable to hold gains in weeks of fighting.
Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday the constraints on deploying ground troops in Libya were making the campaign more difficult, but it was the right decision. He told Sky News: “What we’ve said is there is no question of invasion or an occupation – this is not about Britain putting boots on the ground.”