The battle for Libya took an unexpected turn with the news that Moussa Koussa, the country's foreign minister, had resigned and fled to Britain.

He is said to have left his post because of attacks on civilians by government forces.

Diplomats in the West say it is a sign that Muammar Gaddafi's regime is crumbling from within and are urging others to follow him.

But just how significant will this decision be in turning the tide against Gaddafi? Has Koussa's defection dealt a severe blow for Gaddafi? And what does it mean for the ongoing battle to topple the regime? 
 
Inside Story, with presenter Hazem Sika, discusses with guests: Henry Shuler, a former US diplomat who served in Benghazi in the 1960s; Mohammed Abdulmalek, the chairman of Libya Watch, a human rights organisation monitoring abuses inside Libya; and Shashank Joshi, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and a doctoral student of international politics at Harvard University.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Thursday, March 31, 2011.

Source: Al Jazeera