Cairo: The forces of Libyan despot Gaddafi tried to recapture rebel-held areas by encircling the key town of Ajdabiyah on Monday, as they began the final push to wrest back the opposition strongholds of Benghazi and Tobruk.

Muammar Gaddafi cautioned the rebels with two choices -- "surrender or flee".
  
The Libyan fighter jets flew behind the rebel lines to bomb Ajdabiyah as Gaddafi's tanks and patrol boats launched a barrage on the coastal areas.

As a final push, outgunned rebels have marshaled all their forces numbering up to 10,000 for the defense of the twin major ports of Benghazi and Tobruk, which provide Libya with crucial road links to Egypt, Al-Jazeera reported.
    
Western intelligence reports said that Libyan tanks and artillery were ready to strike a decisive blow, in one major assault.
   
Gaddafi had still kept back his more formidable fighting formations, including the 3,000-strong Revolutionary Guards and heavily-armed Khamish brigade, as a reserve to fight back any western attempt to intervene in the North African country.
   
Reacting to the reports that both the G-8 and UN Security Council were divided on the proposal to impose a no-fly zone, Al-Jazeera said that Gaddafi had decided to gamble and go all out to overrun the shrinking swathe of eastern Libya still held by the rebels.
    
Gaddafi, in an interview to an Italian daily, described the rebellion against his 41-year rule as a "lost cause" and also said he felt betrayed by his friends in Europe.
   
Further he said, "The rebels have no hope, it's now a lost cause for them. There are only possibilities: to surrender or run away,” He ruled out any mediation between his regime and the rebels, saying it was impossible to negotiate with "terrorists". He claimed that the rebels were linked with Osama bin Laden.

The Libyan dictator also claimed that the international community does not know what is really happening in Libya. "The people are with me, the rest is propaganda."

Meanwhile, the G-8 nations, meeting in Paris, were divided over the enforcement of a no-fly zone which would ground the Libyan Air Force.
   
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said in an interview that it may be already too late for world powers to help the Libyan opposition, repel an advance eastwards by Gaddafi's forces.  "The events on the ground in Libya have already outpaced diplomatic efforts. Countries meeting here (Paris) still remain short of an agreement," he said.

(Agencies)