Al Jazeera reported today that Libyan opposition fighters just seized Tripoli’s Green Square and are celebrating a military victory over Qaddafi’s regime.
Now that rebel forces appear to have defeated Qaddafi’s loyalists, the next hurdle will be avoiding further bloodshed amongst themselves.
As I noted in April, the rebels consist of a three-way marriage of convenience amongst a rag-tag group of Libyan men, Libyan military defectors, and hardcore Islamists, many of whom fought directly against American military units in Iraq.
As expected, the Islamists have done nothing to endear themselves with the well-trained Libyan military defectors. It is widely rumored that the Islamists murdered their defense minister, Abdel Fatah Younis, who was also a former member of the Libyan military.
As such, the aftermath of this military victory may involve attempts at consolidation by both the Islamists and the militarists that could lead to further bloodshed.
This conflict is, therefore, not over by a long shot.