A day in the life of Ras Lanuf: Rebels fire machine guns at passing Gaddafi planes overhead as reporters hug the ground to avoid getting hit by bombs. And a concise eyewitness report: "We can see the tanks. The tanks are everywhere. They have surrounded the square with snipers and tanks. The situation is not so good. It's very scary. There are a lot of snipers," said a Zawiyah resident."
From a Reuters correspondent, who probably wishes he was somewhere else right about now:
Rebels were pinned down by tanks and snipers in the center of Zawiyah on Wednesday as forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi closed in on their last redoubt in the western Libyan city, witnesses said.
"We can see the tanks. The tanks are everywhere," a rebel fighter told Reuters by phone from inside Zawiyah.
"They have surrounded the square with snipers and tanks. The situation is not so good. It's very scary. There are a lot of snipers," said a Zawiyah resident.
With the international community still hesitant about how to respond to the crisis in Libya, a counter-offensive by Gaddafi has halted a rebel advance in the east and left others stranded in Zawiyah and another western city, Misrata.
Rebels in the east, facing a fresh barrage of artillery fire on their desert frontline outside the oil port of Ras Lanuf, renewed an appeal for outside powers to impose a no-fly zone to at least shield them from air attacks.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it clear, however, that imposing a no-fly zone is a matter for the United Nations and should not be a U.S.-led initiative.
Gaddafi has said he would die in Libya rather than flee. But that has failed to stem speculation on his plans.
Well, the question is not whether he will die, but what he will do in the moment just before that...