Rebels Driven From Two Oil Towns

After several days of gains, the tide seems to have turned back against Libyan rebels. Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi have forced them to retreat from Brega and Ras Lanuf, both key oil towns on the coast. Forces are pulling back toward Ajdabiya, which was recaptured from Gaddafi’s forces earlier this week after allied airstrikes suppressed them. But the loyalist fighters may come under serious fire from allies if they attempt to pursue the rebels. Meanwhile, the threat of an uneasy stalemate has Western countries discussing arming the rebels. Both the U.S. and Britain have said they believe such a move would be legal, but they haven’t taken a stand on whether or not they wish to do so.