Libyan opposition forces successfully held their ground Friday at the strategic oil facility of Ras Lanouf, despite attempts by Moammar Gadhafi loyalists to recapture the port.
Nevertheless, the momentum appears to be leaning in Gadhafi's favor as the rebel lines were significantly thinner following the attack on Ras Lanouf. Thursday's massive government assault forced many rebel fighters to retreat farther to the east.
"We withdrew yesterday. Why?" Ahmed Tajjouri, a 25-year-old fighter, told the New York Times on Friday. "Because we don't have air defenses, defenses against the sea. What are we going to do if the warplanes come? Tanks are coming, too, and we don't have those either."
"It's tough these days," said Mohammed al-Houni, another 25-year-old fighter at the front. "There is no comparison between our weapons and theirs."
"They're trained. They're organized," he added. "They got their training in Russia and I don't know where. We're not an army. We're the people and even if we had weapons, we wouldn't even know how to use them."
Meanwhile, the nation's top intelligence official has landed in hot water over remarks he made to Congress on Thursday regarding the Obama administration's position on Libya.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper mistakenly informed Congress that the White House believed Gadhafi would emerge victorious in his fight against rebel forces.
"I just think from a standpoint of attrition, that over time, I mean - this is kind of a stalemate back and forth. But I think over the longer term that the [Gadhafi] regime will prevail," Clapper said.
The White House wasted little time distancing itself from the intelligence chief's remarks, saying Libya's embattled leader would not prevail against opposition fighters.
Clapper's remarks, the latest in a series of gaffes made by the intelligence director, prompted some to call for his resignation.
"Unfortunately, this isn't the first questionable comment from the DNI director. However it should be the final straw," Rep. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said.