2011 Libyan civil war
Part of the Arab Spring
Libyan civil war SIADD
Clockwise from top-left: Protesters in Bayda; Muammar al-Gaddafi during his infamous speech on February 22; screenshot of a U.S. F/A-18 bombing a pro-Gaddafi tank; destroyed pro-Gaddafi tanks between Benghazi and Adjabiya on March 20; anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate the capture of the Bab al-Azizia compound in Tripoli on June 23; Muammar al-Gaddafi shortly after being taken prisoner on July 10; crowds on Martyr's Square in Tripoli celebrate the death of Gaddafi; anti-Gaddafi fighters at the front line at Ras Lanuf on March 11; USS Barry launches one of its Tomahawk missiles during Operation Unified Protector.
Date February 15 2011 – July 19, 2011
(5 months and 2 days)
Place Libya
Result Overthrow of Gaddafi government
  • Anti-Gaddafi forces take control of all Libyan cities.
  • Muammar al-Gaddafi is killed.
  • The National Transitional Council assumes interim control of Libya.
  • 100 countries, UN, EU and AU diplomatically recognise the National Transitional Council as the sole governing authority for Libya.
Flag of Libya National Transitional Council
  • National Liberation Army
  • Free Libyan Air Force
  • Anti-Gaddafi Forces
  • Foreign military advisors

Flag of the United Nations UN member states enforcing UNSC Resolution 1973:

  • Flag of NATO NATO
    • Flag of the United States United States
    • Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom
    • Flag of France France
    • Flag of Albania Albania
    • Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria
    • Flag of Belgium Belgium
    • Flag of Canada Canada
    • Flag of Denmark Denmark
    • Flag of Greece Greece
    • Flag of Italy Italy
    • Flag of the Netherlands Netherlands
    • Flag of Norway Norway
    • Flag of Romania Romania
    • Flag of Spain Spain
    • Flag of Turkey Turkey
  • Flag of Jordan Jordan
  • Flag of Qatar Qatar
  • Flag of Sweden Sweden
  • Flag of the United Arab Emirates UAE
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
  • Libyan Armed Forces
    • Libyan Army
    • Libyan Air Force
    • Libyan Navy
  • Paramilitary forces
  • Pro-Gaddafi tribes
  • Foreign mercenaries
Commanders and leaders
Political leadership:
Flag of Libya Mustafa Abdul Jalil
(Chairman of the NTC)
Flag of Libya Abdul Hafiz Ghoga
(Vice-Chairman of the NTC)
Flag of Libya Mustafa Abdul Jalil
(Interim Libyan Prime Minister)
Flag of Libya Jalal al-Digheily
(Minister of Defence)

Military commanders:
Flag of Libya Gen. Abdul Fatah Younis
(Commander-in-Chief of the National Liberation Army)
Flag of Libya Gen. Omar El-Hariri
(Chief of Staff)
Flag of Libya Mj. Gen. Abdul Fatah Younis
(Commander of ground forces)
Flag of Libya Mj. Gen. Suleiman Mahmoud al-Obeidi
(Tobruk Brigade)
Flag of Libya Mahdi al-Harati
(CO of Tripoli Brigade)
Flag of Libya Abu Oweis
(Second-in-command of Tripoli Brigade)
Flag of Libya Abdul Hassan
(CO of Al Horia Brigade)
Flag of Libya Abdul Hassan
(CO of Al Horia Brigade)

NATO leadership:
Flag of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen
(Secretary General)
Flag of NATO ADM James G. Stavridis
Flag of NATO LTGEN Charles Bouchard
(Operational Commander)
Flag of NATO GEN Carter F. Ham
(Air Commander)
Flag of NATO VADM Rinaldo Veri
(Maritime Commander)

Political leadership:
Flag of the United States John McCain
(President of the United States)
Flag of the United Kingdom David Cameron
(Prime Minister of the UK)
Flag of France Nicolas Sarkozy
(President of France)
Flag of Canada Stephen Harper
(Prime Minister of Canada)
Flag of Italy Silvio Berlusconi
(Prime Minister of Italy)
Flag of Norway Jens Stoltenberg
(Prime Minister of Norway)
Flag of Denmark Lars Løkke Rasmussen
(Prime Minister of Denmark until October 3)
Flag of Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt
(Prime Minister of Denmark from October 3)
Flag of Jordan Abdullah II
Flag of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Flag of the United Arab Emirates Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Military commanders:
Flag of the United States GEN Carter F. Ham
Flag of the United States GEN Samuel J. Locklear
Flag of the United Kingdom AIRMSHL Sir Stuart Peach
Flag of France ADM Édouard Guillaud
Flag of Canada GEN Charles Bouchard
Flag of Italy VADM Rinaldo Veri
Flag of Norway GEN Harald Sunde
Flag of Sweden GEN Sverker Göranson

Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Muammar al-Gaddafi †

Muammar al-Gaddafi's sons:
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
(Captured after war's end)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Khamis al-Gaddafi †
(CO of the Khamis Brigade)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Al-Mu'tasim al-Gaddafi †
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Al-Saadi al-Gaddafi (POW)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Saif al-Arab al-Gaddafi †

Military commanders:
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) GEN Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr †
(Chief of Staff and Minister of Defence)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Abdullah al-Senussi
(Head of Intelligence Service)
(Captured after war's end)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Massoud Abdelhafid (POW)
(Head of the secret police)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Baghdadi Mahmudi (POW)
(Prime Minister)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Gen. Mahdi al-Arabi (POW)
(Deputy chief of staff of the army and commander of special forces)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Mohamed Abu Al-Quasim al-Zwai (POW)
(Secretary-General of the General People's Congress)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Abuzed Omar Dorda (POW)
(Head of National Intelligence)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Khouildi Hamidi (POW)
(Deputy head of the secret police)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Abdul Ati al-Obeidi (POW)
(Foreign Minister)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Ahmad Ramdan (POW)
(Minister of Information)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Salih Rajab al-Mismari
(Minister of Public Security)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Moussa Ibrahim
(Gaddafi Spokesman)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Gen. Hasan al-Kabir al-Gaddafi
(Head of Revolutionary Guard Corps)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Adm. Rafi al-Sharif
(Head of the Navy)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Gen. Ali Sharif al-Rifi
(Head of the Air Force)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Gen. Ali Kana
(Commander of southern forces)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Gen. Awad Hamza
(Infantry leader)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Gen. Bashir Hawadi
(Field commander)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Gen. Mustafa al-Kharoubi
(Military strategist)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Gen. Nasr al-Mabrouk
(Primary police commander)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Col. Ahmed al-Gaddafi al-Qahsi †
(Gaddafi's cousin)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Mansour Dhao (POW)
(Head of Gaddafi's personal guards)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Brig.Gen. Muftah Anaqrat †

Flag of Libya Anti-Gadaffi Forces:
17,000 defecting soldiers and volunteers
Flag of NATO International Forces:
Numerous air and maritime forces (see here)
Flag of Libya (1977-2011) Pro-Gadaffi Forces: 20,000–40,000 soldiers and militia
Casualties and losses
5,667–7,059 opposition fighters and supporters killed
2,886–3,005 missing
2,580–3,231 soldiers killed
7,000 captured*
stimated total casualties on both sides, including civilians:

25,000–30,000 killed, 4,000 missing

The 2011 Libyan civil war (also referred to as the Libyan revolution) was an armed conflict in the North African state of Libya fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi and his regime and those seeking to depose him. The situation began on February 17, 2011 as a series of peaceful protests which were met with military force by the Gaddafi regime. The protests escalated into an uprising that spread across the country, with the forces opposing Gaddafi establishing a government based in Benghazi named the National Transitional Council whose stated goal is to overthrow the Gaddafi-led government and hold democratic elections. By the begining of March, the uprising had escalated into a full blown civil war.

The United Nations Security Council passed an initial resolution on 26 February, freezing the assets of Gaddafi and his inner circle and restricting their travel, and referred the matter to the International Criminal Court for investigation, and an arrest warrant for Gaddafi was issued on June 27.

In early March, Gaddafi's forces rallied, pushed eastwards and re-took several coastal cities before attacking Benghazi. A further U.N. resolution authorised member states to establish and enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. The Gaddafi government then announced a ceasefire, but failed to uphold it.

On the eastern front, rebels advanced and took the oil port towns of Brega and Ras Lanuf and by the beginning of April, were on the outskirts of Gaddafis hometown of Sirte. After weeks of fighting, Sirte fell in early May, while the siege of Misrata was lifted by the middle of the same month.

In June, helped by U.S.-led NATO air support, rebel forces engaged in a coastal offensive and took most of their lost territory, and captured the most of the capital city of Tripoli. On 23 June, Libyan rebel soldiers blasted open the Bab al-Azizia compound in Tripoli through its north gates and stormed inside. Despite previous reports suggesting that Muammar Gaddafi may be inside, Gaddafi evaded capture and loyalists engaged in a rearguard campaign.

On June 30, 2011, the National Transitional Council was recognised by the United Nations as the legal representative of Libya, replacing the Gaddafi government. Also, the loyalist bastion in Bani Walid, south east of Tripoli, was besieged by rebels, and finally captured on July 15 after a bitter battle. Muammar al-Gaddafi was captured and killed attempting to escape from Bani Walid.

Gaddafi loyalists laid down their weapons over the next few days, and the National Transitional Council declared the liberation of Libya and the official end of the war on July 19, 2011.

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