Libyan rebels were driven from the town of Ras Lanouf by pro-Qaddafi forces using air strikes and artillery.
The setback for the rebels, who also lost the town of Zawiya, came as they made gains on the diplomatic front. French President Nicolas Sarkozy recognized the Libyan rebels, the first member of the UN Security Council to do so.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is also slated to meet with the rebels' governing body.
Despite this, a report at FoxNews.com stated there was no sign of the concrete military assistance the rebels were requesting, even as Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO's Secretary-General, accused Qaddafi of "ordering attacks on his own people" in comments quoted by VOA News.com.
The NATO chief described the Libyan civil war as a "severe humanitarian situation," and added that time was "of the essence."