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Six Months of Civil War in Libya

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Rebel forces in Libya have made significant advances in recent weeks, according to NATO officials. They've taken larger control of the northwest, including parts of Brega and Misrata, and are currently engaging forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi in the western city of Zawiya, home to Libya's only functioning oil refinery. With these advances, rebel forces are now closing in on Qaddafi's stronghold of Tripoli, seizing approaches to the city, while NATO forces dominate the skies and Mediterranean coast. (NATO aircraft have conducted more than 7,200 strike sorties since June.) Qaddafi remains defiant in the face of attacks and global diplomatic pressure, and his forces continue to exact a heavy toll on rebel forces and civilians. Gathered here are images from the past several weeks of the civil war in Libya as it appears to be reaching a turning point. Also see earlier entries: DIY Weapons of the Libyan Rebels, and Three Months of Civil War in Libya. [41 photos]

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A Libyan rebel fighter, photographed some 18 km (11 mi) west of Ajdabiyah, on July 14, 2011. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori)
A Libyan rebel fighter, photographed some 18 km (11 mi) west of Ajdabiyah, on July 14, 2011. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori)
A large fireball erupts from a burning fuel depot container in Misrata's port, on July 25, 2011. The facility at the city's port was struck by a rocket fired by pro-Qaddafi forces. (Reuters/Mussab Al-Khairalla) #
A view of Tripoli street, in the Libyan port city of Misrata, seen from a destroyed building used by Qaddafi's snipers during the battle for the control of Misrata on July 1, 2011. (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images) #
Libyan rebels protect a captured enemy sniper from retaliation near Zawiya in western Libya, on August 13, 2011. After some moment of tension the prisoner, whose name has not been released yet, was put in a car and driven toward Zintan. (AP Photo/Giulio Petrocco) #
An Air Libya BAe-146-300 aircraft takes off from Rhebat air strip, a stretch of mountain highway, near the Nafusa Mountains, western Libya, on July 12, 2011. Ali Tarhouni, oil and finance minister in the council opposing Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, opened the airfield linking the rebel capital Benghazi with a remote Western Mountain stronghold south of Tripoli. (Reuters/Ammar Awad) #
Two Libyan rebel commanders overlook the valley where forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi are settled in Kabaw, western Libya, on July 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Gaia Anderson) #
Libyan women bakers prepare pastry and sweets with the colors of the former Libyan flag used by the rebels, at a bakery in the Libyan rebel stronghold city of Benghazi, on July 25, 2011. (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images) #
Rebel fighters fire a Grad rocket at the front line west of Misrata, Libya, on June 20, 2011. Libya's government said a NATO airstrike west of Tripoli earlier in the day destroyed a large family compound belonging to a close associate of Muammar Qaddafi, killing at least 15 people, including three children. The alliance said the strike hit a "command and control" center. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) #
A Libyan embassy employee steps on a portrait of Muammar Qaddafi outside the Libyan Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, on July 25, 2011, after the Libyan diplomat in charge of consular affairs staged a coup at his country's embassy declaring it was now siding with the anti-Qaddafi forces. The embassy's chief of consular affairs Ibrahim Al-Furis, with other diplomats, took over the embassy building in Sofia and announced their allegiance with the rebel Libyan forces. (AP Photo/) #
A man rests in the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, on August 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #
Libyan rebel fighters run for cover at the front line near the southwest desert hamlet of Gualish on July 24, 2011 as forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi start attacking them, attempting to capture the city. (Colin Summers/AFP/Getty Images) #
Bodies of two members of forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi lie in a road east of the village of Al-Qawalish, on July 14, 2011. (Reuters/Ammar Awad) #
In this photo taken on a government-organized tour, a journalist photographs a Libyan woman as she points her weapon at the video camera in the town of Gharyan, 100 km (62 miles) southwest of Tripoli, Libya, on July 10, 2011. Muammar Qaddafi's regime is seeking to show it remains in control of parts of the country's western mountains and will defend the territory against further rebel advances there. (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill) #
In this photo taken on a government-organized tour, souvenirs of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi are displayed for sale in downtown in Tripoli, Libya on August 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) #
A girl dressed like Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi poses for a photo in the rebel-held Benghazi, Libya, on July 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle sails toward the southern French port of Toulon, on August 12, 2011. The vessel, France's only aircraft carrier and Europe's biggest warship, has returned home for maintenance from the NATO-led mission over Libya. (Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images) #
A street artist paints a caricature of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi and his spokesman Abdel-Majid al-Dursi, left, in the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, on July 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
In this Wednesday, July 6, 2011 photo, rebels surround a soldier loyal to Muammar Qaddafi after his capture in al-Qawalish, 100 km (60 mi) southwest of Tripoli, Libya, after six hours of battle. (AP Photo/Gaia Anderson) #
Black smoke rises from the Brega petrochemical facility area of the oil rich port on August 15, 2011, as battles between rebel forces and those loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi continue west of the town. (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images) #
A Libyan rebel evacuates a wounded man after a shelling attack that struck mostly civilians in Zawiya, western Libya, on August 15, 2011. (AP Photo / Giulio Petrocco) #
A Libyan rebel, wounded during a battle for the control of Brega, flashes a victory sign as he is rushed into the emergency room at the general hospital in Ajdabiya, on July 17, 2011. The battle for Brega switched from the desert to intense street fighting in the oil town's northeast, as veteran Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi vowed never to quit and fresh blasts rocked Tripoli. (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images) #
A medic looks on as the body of rebel fighter killed in combat is moved to the morgue of a hospital in rebel-held Ajdabiya, Libya, on July 18, 2011. European Union foreign ministers on Monday condemned the "grave violations of human rights" perpetrated by Qaddafi's regime, saying the Libyan leader must relinquish power immediately. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
A doctor holds a bullet which was removed from the head of a female civilian who was shot by a sniper while riding in a car, at the Bir Muammar Hospital on the outskirts of Zawiyah, on August 15, 2011. Rebels who attacked the strategic town of Zawiyah on Saturday lost at least six men on Monday as they continue to clear snipers and other pro-government forces. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #
In this Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011 photo, a worker modifies a civilian pick-up truck into a military vehicle, adding weapons and reinforcements, in Zintan, western Libya. Zintan has become the nerve center of what is emerging as the rebels' most promising front in their campaign to oust Gadhafi: an attempt to flank the grinding deadlock in the center of the country with an assault from the far west. (AP Photo/Giulio Petrocco) #
Libyan rebels fire an anti-aircraft gun at government forces during a heavy sandstorm near the village of Tiji in western Libya, on July 31, 2011. Heavy fighting continued for a third day as rebel forces attempted to oust pro-Gaddafi troops from the strategic western plains. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #
A rebel fighter runs during a shootout with forces loyal to Libya's leader Muammar Qaddafi, on the outskirts of Al-Briqa, west of Ajdabiyah, on July 14, 2011. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori) #
Wind sweeps the desert outpost of Twama, 30km south-east of the western stronghold of Zintan, where rebel forces keep Kadhafi loyalist forces under surveillance on July 15, 2011. The lone outpost is the last defensive position of the rebels in the south of the Nafusa mountains. (Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images) #
The tanker Cartagena docked in the sea port of the rebel-held city of Benghazi, Libya, on August 4, 2011. The Libyan tanker, belonging to the Libyan government's shipping arm and reported to have been seized by rebels opposing Muammar Qaddafi off Malta, entered the rebel-held port of Benghazi having been cleared to proceed by NATO ships enforcing an arms embargo, a NATO official said on Thursday. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
Amir Brean, 4, plays in a public playground at the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, on August 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #
A fisherman gives an explosive device to his fellow outside the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, on July 20, 2011. Libyan fishermen are using explosives as one of the easiest ways to fish, since the country is flooded with explosive material from months of fighting. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
An underwater blast from an explosive used for fishing, outside the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, on July 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
A man, wearing a t-shirt with the design of U.S. flag, takes part on Friday prayers at the main square of the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, on August 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #
In this photo taken during a government-organized meeting between villagers from Majar and local media at a hotel, Ayah Attieh, 5, pauses as she speaks to the media in Tripoli, Libya, Friday, Aug. 12, 2011. Attieh is one of the survivors of the August 9 NATO airstrike that killed 85 civilians, according to the Libyan government. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) #
A man picks up a deactivated landmine in a minefield near the town of Zlitan, west of Misrata, on July 25, 2011. A car mechanic has gathered a team of 10 volunteers to help clear plastic landmines laid down by pro-Qaddafi forces near one of the frontlines of the conflict. (Reuters/Mussab Al-Khairalla) #
A front-line rebel position overlooks the Qaddafi-held town of Bir Ghanam in western Libya, on August 5, 2011. When Libyan rebels pushed government forces out of a cement plant in Bir Ghanam last month and set up a position about 80 km (50 miles) from Tripoli, victory seemed within reach. But the men -- who hold the rebel position closest to the Libyan capital -- were finding it hard to advance a few hundred metres, let alone reach Muammar Qaddafi's main stronghold. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #
The night skies are lit as one of several powerful blasts rocked the Fernej district of southwest Tripoli, on August 9, 2011. (Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images) #
A Libyan woman learns how to use a weapon from a rebel army officer in Benghazi, on July 11, 2011. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori) #
Libyan men carry a coffin, gesture, and chant slogans during the funeral of Libyan rebels' slain military chief Abdel-Fattah Younis in the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, on July 29, 2011. Thousands of mourners marched in the funeral procession Friday for the Libyan rebels' slain military chief, a day after he was gunned down under still mysterious circumstances. Abdel-Fattah Younis was killed as he traveled from his front lines operations room to the rebels' de facto capital Benghazi. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
The graves of Libyan rebels killed fighting Muammar Qaddafi's government forces line a hillside in a cemetery in Nalut, in Libya's Western Mountains, on August 3, 2011. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #
Libyan rebel fighters launch a rocket at forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi at the front line near the southwest desert hamlet of Gualish, on July 24, 2011 as the rebels repel an attack from loyalist forces aimed at capturing the city. (Colin Summers/AFP/Getty Images) #
A Libyan man, after a shelling attack that struck mostly civilians in Zawiya, western Libya, on August 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Giulio Petrocco) #

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