Nightly News | August 19, 2011
>>> after five months of intense fighting and nato air strikes , opposition forces appear to be tightening the noose around the capital. richard engel is in the rebel controlled town of zintan tonight. good evening.
>> reporter: we have now pulled back to a safer distance away from the front line , but we did spend the day with rebels and they tell us they're now building up re-enforcements for a major push on tripoli . the terrain in western libya has given the rebels a huge advantage. they live on the high ground , and control the mountains and deep canyons that look almost like the american southwest . but the rebels here are moving down from the mountain and into the city of zawiyah, just 30 miles from tripoli . holding down gadhafi 's all green flags. they control most of this city of 200,000. and are fighting to take it all. we followed a rebel unit to the front line . among the fighters, this man, he used to be a geologist.
>> are you close to taking the rest of zayiyah?
>> is this the rest of the war, do you think?
>> there are reports that zbad d gadhafi wants to leave the country, do you believe that?
>> he cannot leave libya , we will get him.
>> reporter: but the willingness of gadhafi 's troops to fight is all too clear.
>> about 100.
>> with that incoming? was that -- that was a rocket that exploded here.
>> it was coming from --
>> and i can still see the smoke.
>> you can see the smoke.
>> that was maybe --
>> the rebels are now on tripoli 's doorstep and closing in. but it seems they're going to have to fight for every mile until they reach the surrounded capital. zawiya.
>> richard engel in libya tonight, thank you.