Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi drove rebel fighters from the eastern oil city of Brega, one of the last major towns before the key rebel stronghold of Bengazi, on Sunday.
The Guardian predicted that time was running out for Libya's revolution, and described scenes of rocket and shell-fire raining from the sky and exhausted rebels fleeing in pick-up trucks.
Calls by the Arab League for a no-flight zone over Libya may be considered by the United Nations Security Council this week, but such a move may be a stretch considering opposition from Russia and China and even a lack of clear support from the U.S. and Europe, The New York Times reported Sunday.
Meanwhile, according to the New York Times report, increasingly beleaguered rebel forces on the ground are also still undecided on the issue of U.N. or western intervention.
Speaking from Ajdabiya, the last major town before Benghazi, former interior minister Abdel Fattah Younis, who defected to the rebel side in February and has become an unexpected leader of the revolutionary forces, called the retreat a tactical withdrawal and pledged a strong defense, according to the report in the Guardian.
But if outside support does not come, it seems unlikely that rebel forces will continue to withstand the onslaught from the far better equipped pro-government forces. "He has a tank and we have a stone," said one rebel fighter quoted in the New York Times.