change in Libya will help immensely'' efforts to stabilize Tunisia and
Egypt and add to the momentum to eject dictators in Syria and Yemen,
Hisham Melhem, Washington bureau chief of the Al Arabiya television
network, told CNN on Sunday night.
In Tripoli, rebel leaders said
that Muhammad Qaddafi surrendered soon after his brother Seif al-Islam
Qaddafi had been captured and that the compound of Bab al Aziziya, where
the rebels believe Muammar el-Qaddafi is staying if he is still in the
city, had been surrounded.
"Tonight it's over," rebel leader Mohamad al-Akari told ABC News.
The rebels advanced quickly into the heart of Tripoli on Sunday, Britain's Sky News reported. They "had been expecting much more resistance, but there has been very little," said Sky News reporter Alex Crawford.
the rebel advance and new protests erupting Sunday in the capital,
Qaddafi's time as Libya's leader could be measured in hours, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said earlier in the day.
rapid advance of the insurgents in the past few days "absolutely"
shows that this is Qaddafi's last stand, McCain said on CBS's Face The Nation, adding that his departure could be measured "in a matter of hours, if not days."
he spoke, reports had emerged of new, large-scale anti-Qaddafi
protests in several Tripoli neighborhoods, and a rebel commander said
hundreds of anti-regime insurgents were advancing on the capital in
pickup trucks and on foot from less than 15 miles away.
President Obama was briefed
on Libyan developments on Sunday morning and the United States was
communicating closely with allies, said Josh Earnest, White House deputy
"We believe that Qaddafi's days are numbered,
and that the Libyan people deserve a just, democratic, and peaceful
future,'' Earnest said.
The Associated Press
quoted opposition leaders as saying "sleeping cells" were activated on
Saturday night inside Tripoli, Qaddafi's stronghold throughout the
six-month-old civil war.
Mosques were rallying people inside Tripoli with chants of "Allahu Akbar" or "God is great," broadcast on loudspeakers, the AP quoted rebel commander Mukhtar Lahab as saying.
loyal to Qaddafi were reportedly shooting from rooftops in at least one
of the capital's neighborhoods. In an audio message on Saturday, the
Libyan leader dismissed the rebels as "rats" and said he would not yield, according to Reuters.