Rebels in Libya say they have succeeded in creating a defensive arc south and west of the city of Misrata by linking up two fronts.
The rebels say they are preparing for a possible advance on Tripoli.
The two sides have been locked in a stalemate for more than four months, despite assistance to the rebels by NATO air strikes.
The BBC reports the rebels hold much of eastern Libya, plus Misrata and several towns in the Nafusa mountains near the Tunisian border.
The rebels insist Colonel Muammar Gaddafi must step down. So far he refuses to do so.