Littered across the landscape, some 30 miles south of Benghazi, the detritus of the allied airstrikes on Saturday and Sunday morning offered a panorama of destruction: tanks, charred and battered, their turrets blasted clean off, one with a body still caught in its remnants; a small Toyota truck with its roof torn away; a tank transporter still on fire. But it did not end there.
For miles leading south, the roadsides were littered with burned trucks and burned civilian cars. In some places battle tanks had simply been abandoned, intact, as their crews fled. One thing, though, seemed evident: the units closest to Benghazi seemed to have been hit with their cannons and machine guns still pointing toward the rebel capital.
“This is all France,” a rebel fighter, Tahir Sassi, told a Reuters correspondent as he surveyed the devastation on Sunday. “Today we came through and saw the road open.”
The monuments to the loyalists’ last maneuver were not the victory so often trumpeted in their propaganda. Empty ammunition boxes lay discarded among the flowers. Armored personnel carriers still smoldered alongside wrecked rocket-launchers. Craters pitted the fields, as if there had been multiple strikes, apparently by the pilots of the French warplanes that took credit for firing the first shots in the international, American-backed effort to contain Colonel Qaddafi’s forces.
In a Field of Flowers, the Wreckage of War in Libya - NYTimes.com