NATO's efforts to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi are getting criticised by the very people they are trying to help.

In the rebel stronghold Benghazi, people hold signs thanking France, the UK and the US, but say NATO's involvement is making things worse.

RELATED:
'Jordan sends jets to support Libya no-fly zone'
Turkey: 'No breakthrough yet' for Libya truce

During a news conference rebel leaders said air strikes have become less effective since NATO took control, and that the international community bears the responsibility of putting NATO at the helm.

"If NATO waited for another week, Misrata would have been finished and there would be no civilians, it's people would die and the international community would bear the responsibility of such a crime. Who is NATO? What are they doing? The United Nations have imposed NATO over our heads but they haven't done anything."

At NATO headquarters in Brussels, commanders say they're doing their best.

"I don't think that the pace has gone down. I think we have maintained a very high operational tempo. But we have seen of course that in this dynamic situation, fluid situation on the ground, every minute the situation has changed. That we have seen that the change of tactics. We have seen that in the early days of the coalition there were completely different targets being engaged. So the situation is totally different, so don't compare it but the operational tempo has stayed the same."

Meanwhile, clashes continue for control of Brega.

Plumes of smoke dot the horizon as small groups of rebel vehicles gather on a road 20 kilometers from the oil port city.

Although their troops are better organized in the past weeks, rebels point out that since NATO took control, their front line has fallen back.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger