March 9, 2011
Libyan government forces launched new air raids on the eastern oil city of Ras Lanuf, while the western town of Zawiya was engulfed in heavy fighting as Muammar Gaddafi’s forces attempted to retake it. Ras Lanuf was hit by rocket fire as fighter jets circled overhead, bombing the rebel frontline. The oil tanks at nearby Es Sider were also hit as opposition fighters fired back. Al-Arabiya TV reported heavy bombardment of Zawiya, 30 miles from Tripoli, with residents describing how Gaddafi’s forces pushed to regain control after using tanks and snipers to drive rebels out of their stronghold in the main square. Reuters said that at least 40 people, and probably more, had been killed during the day. There was no sign that Nato was likely to agree a no-fly zone to shoot down any planes loyal to the Libyan leader, in support of the rebels.