Libya: Gaddafi Holds On As U.S. Eases Off
WASHINGTON — Two weeks after a dark-of-night barrage of mostly U.S. missiles and bombs opened the international air assault on Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, the American combat role is ending, the rag-tag rebels are reeling and the Pentagon is betting its European allies can finish the job.
Gadhafi is still standing, with a few uncertain signs that his inner circle could crack. The Obama administration is hoping that if Gadhafi’s government doesn’t implode soon, a relentless campaign of airstrikes on his tanks, air defenses and most trusted army units will at least weaken his ability to survive a renewed uprising by a disjointed opposition. The rebels initially rattled Gadhafi but in recent days have given up most of their gains.