After more than six months of conflict, could Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's rule come to an end? In a speech Monday, he called on his supporters to prepare for "the fight" as news came in that the rebels captured the towns of Sorman, west of Tripoli, and Garyan to the south.

Abdulsalam Othman, spokesman for the rebels' western military council, said the advances mean that Tripoli's supply lines from Tunisia are severed, giving an important advantage to the rebels.

"We now have full control" of the 15 kilometer (nine mile) stretch of road between the coastal cities of Sorman and Zawiyah, Othman said, adding however that the battle for Zawiyah, 40 kilometers west of Tripoli, was still raging.

"All the entrance gates (of Sorman and Garyan) are under the control" of the rebels, he said, but admitted the "presence of an unknown number" of Gaddafi's snipers in some residential areas.

According to Othman, the rebels launched their offensive on Sorman, in the early hours of Sunday, and forced Gadhafi's troops into retreat after more than 10 hours of intense fight.

After more than 10 hours of intense battle, the rebels managed to force Gaddafi's troops to retreat. During the fight, more than 40 fighters, some of them sub-Saharan African mercenaries, were captured.

"All roads and access to the city are under our control except the western neighbourhood of Asabia," he said.

The rebels did not manage to win on all fronts however, as they did not manage to gain control of the strategic port town of Zawiyah.

According to the Council's official, the rebels now control of southern and western gates of Tripoli but are still unable to advance towards the centre of the city.

In view of the rebels' latest gain, Gadhafi has issued a new message, bolstering its supporters and urging them "get ready for the fight", to liberate the country from NATO and "traitors."

Gadhafi's speech was delivered by phone and broadcast by state television in audio only, called on the Libyan people to "pick up weapons" to liberate the country, Britian's Channel 4 reported.

In his speech, which according to Libyan state TV was live, Gadhafi said: "The Libyan people will remain and the Fateh revolution (which brought Gaddafi to power in 1969) will remain. Move forward, challenge, pick up your weapons, go to the fight for liberating Libya inch by inch from the traitors and from NATO.

"Get ready for the fight," he added. "The blood of martyrs is fuel for the battlefield."