BRUSSELS (AFP) - Libyan rebel leaders for the first time will hold talks with NATO's 28-nation North Atlantic Council on July 13 to present their plans for democratic transition, NATO's chief said Wednesday. Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the ambassadors of NATO's decision-making body "will hold informal talks" with a delegation led by Mahmud Jibril of the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council (NTC). "I will also hold a bilateral meeting with Mr Jibril" the same day, Rasmussen added. The NATO chief said Jibril will present the NTC's roadmap to bring democracy to the country ruled by Moamer Gaddafi for four decades. "The goal of this meeting is to exchange points of view," Rasmussen said. "The NTC has drafted a roadmap and it is important for the NATO Council to discuss this subject with Mr Jibril." The rebel delegation is also expected to meet in Brussels next week with European Union president Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso. Rebels backed by NATO air power also launched a promised assault on a key gateway to Tripoli, attacking positions just 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the capital. Buoyed by French arms drops and NATO-led air strikes, the rebels attacked positions in the Gualish area, in the plains north of their enclave in the Nafusa mountains southwest of Tripoli, an AFP correspondent said. A rebel leader from the hilltown of Zintan said his forces had coordinated their assault with NATO, which has stepped up its bombing campaign by destroying frontline armour of Moamer Gaddafi's regime in the past week. "We waited before launching this assault and finally got the green light from NATO this morning and the offensive began," the rebel leader said. There were intense exchanges of artillery, mortar and cannon fire between the rebel fighters and government troops dug in around Gualish, the AFP correspondent reported. NATO-led warplanes flew over the battlefield but there were no immediate air strikes. The area targeted by the rebel offensive is seen as strategic as it also features the garrison city of Gharyan, a government stronghold in the Nafusa mountains. In an operational update, NATO said Wednesday it struck four tanks and two armed vehicles in Gharyan, along with command and control centres near the rebel-held western city of Misrata and eastern oil town of Brega. After a retreat from around the plains town of Bir al-Ghanam last week, spokesman Colonel Ahmed Omar Bani had pledged on Saturday that the rebel army would soon try to push the front line northwards. "In the next two days, the (revolutionaries) will come up with answers. Things will change on the front line," he said. Wednesday's offensive comes a day after France said it no longer needs to drop weapons to the rebels fighting the Gaddafi regime since they are getting more organised and can arrange to arm themselves. "The (rebel) territories are organising their autonomy... That is why the parachute drops are no longer necessary," French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said.