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The Composition of the Libyan Anti-Gadhafi Rebel Forces

Updated on May 31, 2011

The Libyan rebel forces fighting for freedom in Libya are growing. Training raw recruits takes 3-4 weeks and after the training they wait for weapons to be issued. It is a long wait because they have few of them. There are 24 trainers which allows for about 200 recruits to complete training in a few weeks. Because the rebel forces have the manpower yet lack weapons, many recruits are angry after completing the course.

In the western mountains of Libya, the Martyrs of 17th of February Brigade is fighting 1000 Gadhafi soldiers who are well trained. Between Adjabiya and Brega there are 1200 rebel  fighters with a company in Jalu and a battalion in Benghazi, Tobruk, and Al Kufra near Chad. Between them, they have only 100 four-wheel drive vehicles. The US has donated $25 million to this conflict but the only aid so far has been MRE's (meals ready to eat) that the rebels do not want or like. Only Qatar has armed the brigade of men of Martyrs of 17th. It began with only 80 weapons. Members of the brigade create their own weapons from old Soviet weapons.

Despite the fact that the US  was Gadhafi out of Libya, they refuse to be involved. The rebel fighters could easily be armed by six C-130 transport aircraft that could supply enough weapons for 2,200 men. The rebels have indicated they want them, they would pay for them from oil revenue, yet, Obama does nothing more as many Arab nations watch America with disgust, especially those that are part of the forces wanting Gadhafi out.

Their view so far is that Obama's America is full of empty rhetoric.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      I agree. At least Italy has announced that it will provide millions of dollars seized from gadhafi accounts to the rebel forces for weapons. Finally, someone has stepped up to the plate to provide direct aid. The US should do the same.

    • albertacowpoke profile image

      albertacowpoke 6 years ago from Redwater, Alberta

      NATO has just extended its mission by 90 days. Unfortunately, what you state is the obvious. Without boots on the ground and equipping Rebel forces, this mission has no end in sight. Gadaffi has been successful in eluding NATO airstrikes. Although NATO denies targeting Gadaffi, it is obvious that all NATO partners are determine that Gadaffi must go. That begs the question why Gadaffi could not have been deposed with the same technique as Osama Bin Laden. Lybia claims that NATO has killed 700 civilians and in excess of 4000 have been wounded, not including Lybian military personnel.

      The U.S. spends in the neighborhood of 100 Billion a year on Afghanistan and Lybia has not been cheap either. After all over 100 Tomahawk missiles were fired during the opening salvo on Lybia, each one worth over $1/2 million.

      Is there anything being gained?