Mile by mile, he is being encircled. Road by road, his supply routes are being cut. And one by one, some of his closest aides are defecting.
The imminent demise of the man who has ruled Libya for 42 years has been asserted many times in the past five months.
This time, unless some sandstorm of a sudden reversal takes place, it really does look like the final days of Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi are approaching.
The regime forces, after being pulverised for months by Nato, do not appear to have the capabilities to break through the rebels and re-establish a lifeline to the outside world.
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The capture of the refinery in Zawiyah means the petrol supply to Tripoli is now cut. There is at least a month's worth of reserves, although some of it has been destroyed in Nato attacks.
Talks were held last week in Tunis and Djerba with rebels and the regime saying they want to avoid the bloodshed which will come if the opposition tries to storm Tripoli.
The sticking point is what happens to Gaddafi. So where is he? Almost certainly not where anyone outside his inner circle expects him to be, otherwise he would already have been killed by intensified Nato strikes.
He has not been seen in public since May 31, or on television since June 13. The only surfacing has been low-quality audio messages broadcast yesterday and last Tuesday.
Wherever he is, his options are fast diminishing. He might choose to go down fighting, but an 11th-hour deal is more likely, with the threat of a bloodbath in Tripoli as the bargaining chip.