Authored by researcher Gary Li, the report said Gadhafi's forces,
including T-72 MBTs, have been based around cities such as Misratah, Sirte
and Tripoli, where they enjoy logistical infrastructure. The regime has also
deployed around Tripoli, with an estimated brigade-size armored formation.
"The major advantage of the pro-regime forces at the moment is their
ability to deploy air power," the report said. "Major airfields in Sirte and
Tripoli are using Soviet-made fighter bombers to attack rebel strongholds.
However it is not know if the large airfield and considerable arms cache in
Hun, 280 kilometers south of Sirte, is still in the hands of Gadhafi's
IISS, based on satellite images, asserted that the rebels, despite
controlling one of the largest airfields in the country, have been unable to
consolidate their weapons assets. The report said the rebels command no more
than several mechanized units in Benghazi and Tobruk and armored battalions
near Albayda, with assets including the obsolete T-55 MBT.
"Clearly, however, the rebel forces are not without supplies," the
report, released on March 9, said. "The large arms depots outside Benghazi
[Ar Rajmah], Misratah and Ajdabiya should provide enough heavy machine guns,
rocket-propelled grenades, and mortars for a light fighting force. There is
also a large artillery depot in the Western Fwayhat district of Benghazi,
stocked with what appears to be BM-21 Grad multi-launch rocket systems.
However, without proper planning and training, it would be difficult to
bring these to bear in the eventual showdown at Tripoli."
The rebels, who lack basic logistical support, were also employing ZSU
23mm anti-aircraft guns and Type 63 107mm rocket launchers, the report
said. Moreover, rebel units, already equipped with mortars and RPGs, have
modified civilian pick-up trucks by installing large-caliber machine guns.
Despite overwhelming firepower, Gadhafi's forces were said to lack
morale. The report said both ground and air strikes have been uncoordinated,
raising questions whether the troops remained loyal to the regime.
"Even though the militias and volunteer groups are largely
uncoordinated, a small group of former soldiers and officers have been
attempting to organise a core of recruits trained in the fundamentals of
warfare in Benghazi," the report said. "The time needed to ready these men
will have a tremendous effect on the final assault on Tripoli."