Western diplomatic sources said the Gadhafi regime was showing signs of
a fuel shortage in areas still under its control in Libya. The sources said
the shortage has been detected in Tripoli and in the battlefield.
"Until a few weeks ago, there was no problem with fuel anywhere, but now
it is getting much harder to obtain regular supplies," a diplomat said.
The sources said Gadhafi could face a cash shortage as well by
September. They said NATO states have frozen Libyan assets throughout
Europe and the United States, including some $500 million in Turkey.
"Gadhafi is offering very generous repayment terms, but his credibility
that his regime will survive is fading," the diplomat said.
The sources said the fuel shortage comes in wake of a tightening of an
embargo on the Gadhafi regime. They said the regime has been unable to
acquire significant amounts of fuel from Asian and Arab allies because of a
NATO blockade of major Libyan ports.
The fuel shortage was said to have hampered operations of the Libyan
Army against the rebel movement. The sources reported fewer combat vehicles
in the field, which have allowed the rebels to advance toward Tripoli.
In June, the rebels attacked a crude oil pipeline deemed crucial to
the Gadhafi regime. The sources said the pipeline, designed to feed the
refinery in Zawiya, was severed in the Nafusa mountains.
"Right now, Gadhafi is mainly dependent on fuel imports and that
requires a lot of money as well as getting past the embargo," a Western