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2011 Libyan civil war

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Libyan Civil War
Part of Arab Spring
Libyan war: final Sirt Front: final Tripolitanian Front: final
Date 15 February 2011 – 20 October 2011
Location Libya
Libya National Transitional Council[1]
  • Free Libyan Army
  • Free Libyan Air Force

Libya National Conference for the Libyan Opposition

Anti-Gaddafi tribes[2]

UN member states enforcing UNSC Resolution 1973:


Libya Mustafa Abdul Jalil [6]
Libya Omar El-Hariri[7]
Libya Abdul Fatah Younis[8]
Libya Suleiman Mahmoud[9]
Libya Khalifa Belqasim Haftar
Libya Major General Khalid Shahmah

NATO Charles Bouchard[10]

Commanders and leaders
Libya Muammar Gaddafi

Libya Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
Libya Saif al-Arab al-Gaddafi 
Libya Khamis al-Gaddafi
Libya Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr

Approximately 17,000 volunteers by Mar 24[11] (1,000 trained men by Mar 23)[12]

International Forces: Numerous air and maritime forces (see here)

10,000[13]–20,000+[14] soldiers, unknown number of militia
Casualties and losses
2,098-2,834 opposition fighters, activists and supporters killed (see Casualties of the 2011 Libyan civil war)

Netherlands 1 Royal Netherlands Navy Lynx captured during attempted extraction of a civilian[15]
United States 1 USAF F-15E Strike Eagle crashed (both pilots survived)[16]
United Arab Emirates 1 UAEAF F-16 Fighting Falcon damaged upon landing[17]

1,044-1,132 soldiers killed (see Casualties of the 2011 Libyan civil war), 200 captured[18]
Estimated total killed on both sides including civilians:

The Libyan Civil War was a civil war in Libya during the year 2011. It began in the middle of February 2011. Many Libyans were inspired by the uprisings in neighbouring countries, such as Tunisia and Egypt. They violently protested against the government.[20] Colonel Muammar Gaddafi sent troops and tanks to break up the rebellion. Al-quaeda started bombing.[21] and rebels began forming their own government.[22] The war led to the death of Quadaffi in October, and of thousands of other people.

Beginning of protests

The conflict began with series of demonstrations and riots. There were many small protests of about 300-500 people throughout January. Major protests did not begin until 14 February 2011. The demonstrations were protesting against the Government of Libya and its leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. The conflict grew as thousands of people joined the protests. Gaddafi vowed to hunt them down and "clean Libya house by house" until all rebels are gone. However, some of Gaddafi's soldiers began joining the rebels in protest. The protests are thought to have been inspired by the successful uprising in Tunisia and Egypt.

According to NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent, Richard Engel, who entered Libya and had reached the city of Tobruk on 22 February 2011 was quoted as saying, "the protest movement is no longer a protest movement, it's a war. It's open revolt." and on 22 February, The Economist described the protests as an "uprising that is trying to reclaim Libya from the world's longest-ruling autocrat". On 21 February, the Libyan Air Force aircraft attacked civilian protesters in Tripoli which caused international condemnation. By this time, over 300 to 2,000 were dead and over 5,000 were injured.

Armed conflict

There were small battles until February 24, when Gaddafi sent tanks and troops into Misrata and attacked. Then, on March 6, launched a counter-offensive against Rebels. This lasted until 12 March. He regained Ra's Lanuf and Brega. The Rebels gained power when NATO and other countries began bombarding Gaddafi's forces through airstrikes.

The Rebels' launched a counter-offensive on March 27 that lasted until April 1. The Rebels regained a few cities.

Battle of Misrata

The Battle of Misrata was the fiercest battle in the civil war. The Hamza Brigade fought for Gaddafi against the Rebels from 24 February to 12 March. The Khamis Brigade, run by Gaddafi's son Khamis, rolled in and nearly destroyed the entire city. The rebels won the battle and took control of the city.


The rebels also won in Benghazi and other places. They took Tripoli in August. In October the fighting diminished, and the rebels declared victory.


  1. Staff (6 March 2011). "Ferocious Battles in Libya as National Council Meets for First Time". NewsCore (via News Limited). Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  2. Alexander, Caroline (25 February 2011). "Libya's Tribal Revolt May Mean Last Nail in Coffin for Qaddafi". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  3. "'Jordanian fighters protecting aid mission'". The Jordan Times. 6 April 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  4. Staff (21 March 2011). "Gulf Bloc: Qatar, UAE in Coalition Striking Libya". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 21 March 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  5. Staff (25 March 2011). "UAE Updates Support to UN Resolution 1973". WAM (Emirates News Agency). Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  6. "Middle East Unrest – Live Blog". Reuters.
  7. Staff (8 March 2011). "Libya's Opposition Leadership Comes into Focus". Stratfor (via Business Insider). Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  8. "Rebels Forced from Libyan Oil Port". BBC News. 10 March 2011. Archived from the original on 28 January 2011.
  9. Staff (10 March 2011). "The Battle for Libya: The Colonel Fights Back – Colonel Muammar Qaddafi Is Trying to Tighten His Grip on the West, While the Rebels' Inexperience Leaves Them Vulnerable in the East". The Economist. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  10. Staff (25 March 2011). "Canadian To Lead NATO's Libya Mission". CBC News. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  11. Staff (24 March 2011). "Libya: France Jet Destroys Pro-Gaddafi Plane". BBC News. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  12. Staff (23 March 2011). "Libya Live Blog – March 24". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 26 March 2011. Archived 30 April 2012 at WebCite
  13. "Gaddafi's military capabilities". Al Jazeera. 3 Mar 2011.
  14. "Airstrikes leave rebels, pro-Gadhafi forces matched". Associated Press. 6 April 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  15. "Three Dutch marines captured during rescue in Libya". BBC News. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  16. "US crew rescued after Libya crash". BBC News. 22 March 2011. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  17. "UAE fighter jet veers off runway at base in Italy: report". Zawya/AFP. 27 April 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  18. "Red Cross flies home five Libyans released by rebels". 30 April 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  19. "Libya death toll 'reaches 10,000'". Al Jazeera. 19 April 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011.