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Libya Civil War Fast Facts

By CNN Library
updated 1:12 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014

(CNN) -- Here's some background information about the civil war that took place in Libya in 2011.

Timeline:
February 16, 2011 - Protests break out in Libya's second largest city, Benghazi.

February 17, 2011 - Demonstrations continue and spread from Benghazi to other towns.

February 18-19, 2011 - Thousands more take to the streets in Benghazi; dozens of people now have reportedly been killed by security forces.

- Demonstrations spread to the capital, Tripoli, where protestors clash with forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.

- Libya's Arab League representative, Abdel-Moneim al-Houni, resigns.

- Gadhafi's son, Saif, appears on television and states that his father will fight until the "last bullet."

- Chief of State of Protocol Nuri al Mismari, a Gadhafi aide for almost 40 years, resigns.

- Ambassador to the U.S. Ali Adjali resigns and states that he is no longer representing the government of Gadhafi.

- Libyan diplomats at the U.N., including Libyan Deputy Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi, take the side of the opposition and demand the removal of "the tyrant Moammar Gadhafi."

February 21, 2011 - Two Libyan fighter pilots land their jets in Malta and request asylum, defecting after being ordered to bomb civilians.

- U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon holds talks with Gadhafi and demands that the conflict end immediately.

- During an address, Gadhafi states he would rather die a martyr than give up power.

- Rebels claim control of eastern Libya.

February 23, 2011 - Former Justice Minister Mustafa Mohamed Abud al Jeleil claims that he has evidence that Gadhafi ordered the 1988 bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103.

February 24, 2011 - Gadhafi blames the unrest in Libya on al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. He also states that protestors are being fed drugs and manipulated.

February 25, 2011 - The entire Libyan delegation to the Arab League resigns.

- Libyan Ambassador to the U.N. Abdurrahman Shalgham denounces Gadhafi, "I tell my brother Gadhafi: leave the Libyans alone."

- The U.S. completes an evacuation of Americans in Libya and announces it is closing its embassy.

- U.S. President Barack Obama signs an executive order freezing Gadhafi's assets.

February 26, 2011 - The U.N. Security Council imposes sanctions against Libya, including an arms embargo and asset freezes. It also refers Libya to the International Criminal Court for investigation of crimes against humanity.

- Former Justice Minister Mustafa Mohamed Abud al Jeleil announces the formation of an interim government to lead the eastern regions under opposition control.

February 28, 2011 - The European Union votes to impose sanctions against Libya, including freezing Gadhafi's assets and imposing an arms embargo.

- In an interview with Christiane Amanpour, Gadhafi states that his countrymen love him and would die to protect him.

- The Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al Thani calls on Gadhafi to resign.

March 4, 2011 - Libya appoints Ali Abdussalam Treki ambassador to the U.N.

March 7, 2011 - NATO begins 24-hour air surveillance of Libya.

March 8, 2011 - The EU imposes sanctions on the Libyan Investment Authority.

March 10, 2011 - Mahmoud Jebril and Ali Essawi, representing the Libyan opposition, meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

- NATO defense ministers meet in Brussels to discuss establishing a no-fly zone over Libya.

- Speaking before the House Appropriations Committee, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces the U.S. is suspending its relationship with the Libyan embassy.

March 14, 2011 - Libyan forces retake Zuwarah.

March 15, 2011 - Libyan TV claims its forces have retaken the town of Ajdabiyah, but rebel forces dispute this.

- Libyan opposition forces appoint former Interior Minister Abdel Fattah Younes al Abidi as head of the rebels' armed forces.

March 16, 2011 - Libyan forces attack the rebel-held town of Misrata with tanks and artillery.

March 17, 2011 - The U.N. Security Council votes to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and take "all necessary measures" to protect civilians.

March 18, 2011 - Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa announces a cease-fire. However, witnesses report government attacks on Misrata and in eastern Libya.

March 19, 2011 - Government and opposition troops battle with mortars, artillery fire and tanks in Benghazi.

- French fighter jets begin enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya, and the U.S. launches more than 100 Tomahawk missiles at targets in Libya in Operation Odyssey Dawn.

March 20, 2011 - Gadhafi calls the countries involved in Operation Odyssey Dawn airstrikes terrorists, and "the new Nazis," while promising a "long-drawn war."

- Missile strikes target a suspected command and control building at Gadhafi's Bab el-Azizia compound on the outskirts of Tripoli.

March 22, 2011 - A U.S. Air Force fighter jet crashes in Libya after experiencing equipment failure. Both crew members eject safely and are rescued by U.S. forces.

March 24, 2011 - NATO agrees to take command of the mission, enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya.

March 28, 2011 - President Barack Obama addresses the American public on the situation in Libya. "Tonight, I can report that we have stopped Gadhafi's deadly advance" and that the United States will "support the aspirations of the Libyan people" as the "military effort ratchets down."

March 29, 2011 - Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini announces that "we are looking for countries" to host Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi if he goes into exile.

- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets for the second time with the opposition Libyan Interim National Council's Mahmoud Jabril.

March 29, 2011 - Representatives from more than 40 countries and organizations meet in London to establish a "Libya Contact Group." The group will coordinate the international response to the crisis. Its next meeting is scheduled to be held in Doha, Qatar.

March 30, 2011 - Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa arrives in Great Britain and announces that he has resigned his post.

April 2, 2011 - NATO Airstrikes hit several rebel vehicles and kill more than a dozen rebel fighters.

April 4, 2011 - Foreign Minister Franco Frattini announces that Italy will become the third country, after France and Qatar, to recognize the rebel Libyan National Transitional Council as the legitimate international representative of Libya.

April 6, 2011 - An oil tanker under the control of the Libyan opposition departs the port of Tobruk, bound for Qatar. It is the first known rebel oil export.

- In a letter to President Obama, Gadhafi urges him to end the NATO bombing campaign.

April 7, 2011 - Rebel forces and civilians retreat from Ajdabiya.

April 20, 2011 - Oscar nominated filmmaker Tim Hetherington and photojournalist Chris Hondros are killed in Misrata.

- Saif al-Islam Gadhafi speaks on state TV and says that a new Libyan constitution will be unveiled after the civil war ends.

April 30, 2011 - Gadhafi speaks on state TV and says he is ready to negotiate a ceasefire but that he will not step down.

- NATO launches a missile attack on a house in Tripoli. The attack kills Gaddafi's youngest son, Saif al-Arab, and three grandchildren.

May 1, 2011 - Crowds attack the British and Italian embassies in Tripoli, in response to the death of Gadhafi's son.

May 2, 2011 - Switzerland announces that it has uncovered $415.8 million assets linked to Gaddafi and his associates.

May 4, 2011 - International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announces he will request arrest warrants fro the deaths of pro-democracy demonstrators in Libya.

May 5, 2011 - The Libya Contact Group, which includes the U.S., France, Great Britain, Italy, Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan, agrees to set up a fund the provide money to the Libyan rebels.

May 6, 2011 - Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that Russia will oppose any military ground operations in Libya.

- France expels 14 Libyan diplomats.

May 11, 2011 - The EU announces plans to open an office in rebel-held Benghazi, to assist the opposition government.

- Opposition forces seize control of the airport in Misrata.

- Moammar Gadhafi appears on state TV, his first public appearance since the death of his son on April 30.

May 12, 2011 - NATO airstrikes target the Bab al-Aziziyah compound of Moammar Gadhafi. The Libyan leader is uninjured, but three other people are reported killed.

May 13, 2011 - Gadhafi releases a brief audio message saying he's in a place where he cannot be found or killed.

- Mahmoud Jibril, the interim prime minister of council, meets in Washington with Secretary of State Clinton and national security adviser Tom Donilon.

May 16, 2011 - The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court requests arrest warrants for Gadhafi, his son Saif and his brother-in-law. Luis Moreno-Ocampo says the court has evidence that the three committed crimes against humanity during the Libyan civil war.

May 18, 2011 - Four journalists are released by the Libyan military after spending several weeks in custody: Americans Clare Morgana Gillis, a freelancer for the Christian Science Monitor, the Atlantic and USA Today; and James Foley of GlobalPost. The others are Spanish photographer Manuel Varela, who also goes by the name Manu Brabo, and British journalist Nigel Chandler.

May 31, 2011 - Five Libyan generals tell a news conference in Rome they are among as many as 120 Libyan military officers and soldiers who have defected within the last few days.

June 1, 2011 - NATO extends its mission in Libya for another 90 days.

- The U.N. Human Rights Council announces that during a fact-finding mission, it found evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Gadhafi's forces.

- National Oil Corp head, and former prime minister, Shokri Ghanem, defects in Italy. He states that he has not seen Moammar Gadhafi in months and that oil production in Libya is coming to a halt.

June 3, 2011 - China's ambassador to Qatar, Zhang Zhilang, meets with the head of Libya's National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil in Doha. It is the first meeting between China and the Libyan opposition.

June 7, 2011 - Gadhafi, in a live speech, again vows to fight to the end.

June 8, 2011 - Spain recognizes the National Transitional Council as Libya's legitimate representative.

- International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announces that the court is investigating Gadhafi forces on charges of rape.

June 9, 2011 - Australia recognizes the National Transitional Council as Libya's legitimate representative.

- Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade appeals to Gadhafi to step down.

- Germany's Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere says that Germany would consider sending troops to Libya, as part of a U.N. peacekeeping force, after Gadhafi is removed.

June 10, 2011 - Margot Wallstrom, special representative of the Secretary-General on sexual violence in conflict, charges that rape is being used as a weapon of war in Libya.

June 13, 2011 - Germany recognizes the National Transitional Council as Libya's legitimate representative.

June 14, 2011 - South African President Jacob Zuma charges that NATO is misusing the United Nations resolutions meant to protect civilians, in order to pursue regime change and assassinate Moammar Gadhafi.

- Liberia severs diplomatic ties to Libya.

- Canada recognizes the National Transitional Council as Libya's legitimate representative.

June 15, 2011 - The White House gives a detailed report to Congress, justifying the administration's Libya policy.

- The White Houses announces that, as of June 3, the U.S. has spent $716 million on military operations and humanitarian assistance in Libya. The cost is expected to reach $1.1 billion by September 30.

June 16, 2011 - House Speaker John Boehner says that Congress could cut funding for U.S. military involvement in Libya.

- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao issue a joint declaration expressing concern about NATO's campaign in Libya and urging "meticulous adherence" to the U.N. resolution.

June 17, 2011 - Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam, tells an Italian newspaper that Libya is open to the idea of national elections, and that his father would step down if he lost. The Libyan opposition, NATO and the U.S. reject the offer.

- Libyan TV airs the audio of a speech by Moammar Gadhafi, again vowing to defeat NATO and opposition forces.

June 18, 2011 - Opposition oil chief Ali Tarhouni complains that the rebels have run out of money, despite pledges from Western countries.

July 15, 2011 - The United States recognizes the National Transitional Council "as the legitimate governing authority" in Libya.

July 27, 2011 - U.K. Foreign Secretary announces that the United Kingdom is recognizing the National Transitional Council as Libya's legitimate government and expelling Libyan embassy staff from the country.

July 28, 2011 - The National Transitional Council's top military commander, Gen. Abdul Fattah Younis, dies during an ambush

August 9, 2011 - Chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council Mustafa Abdel Jalil dissolves the opposition's 14-member executive board in response to the death of Gen. Abdul Fattah Younis.

August 11, 2011 - The Libyan Embassy in Washington reopens under the control of the Libyan opposition National Transitional Council. Ali Aujali, the former Libyan ambassador to the U.S. under Moammar Gadhafi, resumes his role, now representing the TNC.

August 15, 2011 - Gadhafi urges Libyans to fight opposition forces and "cleanse this sweet and honorable land." In a speech broadcast on state television, Gadhafi says: "The strikes will be over and NATO will be defeated. Move always forward to the challenge; pick up your weapons; go to the fight in order to liberate Libya inch by inch from the traitors and from NATO. Be prepared to fight if they hit the ground."

August 18, 2011 - Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoodi says the military is "powerful enough to finish this battle" to its advantage, but warned that the cost would be too high, calling again for dialogue to resolve the crisis peacefully rather than militarily.

August 19, 2011 - U.S. officials say Gadhafi may be making preparations for a "last stand" in Tripoli as a month-long NATO air campaign continues amid reports of rebel advances.

August 20, 2011 - Libyan rebels have taken their fight inside Tripoli, home to the embattled Libyan leader, a rebel spokesman says. Government spokesman Musa Ibrahim insists that all is safe and well. He says the Libyan capital remains under government control. Libyan officials reject rebel claims that Gadhafi is seeking refuge for his family, saying that neither the leader nor his wife and children plan to leave the country.

August 21, 2011 - In an audio-only address on state television, Gadhafi calls on Libyans to rally to the defense of Tripoli, as rebels capture two of his sons. The International Criminal Court says it plans to negotiate the transfer of Saif al-Islam Gadhafi who is wanted for crimes against humanity, along with his father. Rebels declare Sunday, August 21, 2011 "Day 1," saying "Gadhafi is already finished," while NATO says the regime was "crumbling." Government spokesman Musa Ibrahim says some 1,300 people are killed and about 5,000 wounded in 12 hours of fighting.

August 22, 2011 - A rebel spokesman says Libya is now under the control of the opposition; Gadhafi's whereabouts are unknown. The opposition believes that Gadhafi is either hiding in Tripoli, has fled to southern Libya or fled to neighboring Chad or Algeria. "Those are the only two neighboring country that have been showing support for him," Guma El-Gamaty says.

August 23, 2011 - A spokesman for the National Transitional Council claims that rebels control 85 percent of Tripoli. Rebel sources say Libya's National Transitional Council has established a small office on the outskirts of Tripoli. Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound is seized by rebel fighters. Mahmoud Shammam, minister of information for the National Transitional Council, says NATO has "hit some targets" in the compound. Rebels battle forces loyal to Gadhafi Tuesday north of Tripoli International Airport, along the main road into the capital. Gadhafi forces, meanwhile, pose as rebels in Tripoli.

August 24, 2011 - International journalists, including CNN's Matthew Chance, are released from Tripoli's Rixos hotel, where they have been held for five days by Gadhafi forces.

August 25, 2011 - An agreement is reached in the U.N. Security Council to release $1.5 billion in frozen Libyan assets to the country's rebel government.

August 29, 2011 - Algeria's state press agency announces that Gadhafi's wife Safia, daughter Aisha, sons, Hannibal and Mohammed, and a number of grandchildren are in Algeria.

- Mahdi al-Harati, the vice chairman of the rebel's Military Council, tells CNN that Gadhafi's son, Khamis, was killed in battle and buried.

August 30, 2011 - Rebel commander Hisham Abu Hajer claims that more than 50,000 Libyans have been killed in the uprising.

September-October 2011 - Fighting continues across Libya, concentrating in Sirte.

September 1, 2011 - French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe announces that France is releasing 1.5 billion Euros, frozen at the start of the war, to the NTC.

- Russia recognizes the National Transitional Council as Libya's official government.

- Sixty countries meet in Paris to discuss Libya's transition from Gadhafi's rule to democracy.

- A British RAF C-17 transport plane delivers 280 million dinars (approximately $226,502,853 US) to the Central Bank of Libya.

- Interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil addresses supporters in Martyrs' Square in Tripoli and says, "We aim to establish a state of law, a state of welfare, a state where Islamic Sharia law is the main source of legislation."

September 15, 2011 - British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy travel to Libya to pledge support for the National Transitional Council.

September 16, 2011 - Niger tells a delegation representing the National Transitional Council that it will not hand over Saadi Gadhafi, believed to be hiding in a safe house in Niger's capital.

- The U.N. General Assembly announces that the National Transitional Council will represent Libya during the annual General Assembly later in September.

- The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts a resolution to establish a support mission for Libya for the next three months.

September 20, 2011 - Mahmoud Jibril, at the U.N. General Assembly, says that he expects Libya to have a new government within 10 days.

- U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon congratulates the National Transitional Council for the revolution in Libya and directs that the country's new flag be presented alongside the U.N. flag.

September 24, 2011 - NTC Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril speaks to the U.N. General Assembly, the first Libyan address since Moammar Gadhafi was removed from power.

September 29, 2011 - U.S. Senator John McCain leads a Congressional delegation to Libya. They meet with members of Libya's interim governing council, military commanders and ordinary Libyans. They also visit a prison to see the conditions.

October 20, 2011 - Moammar Gadhafi is killed after being captured by rebel forces in his hometown Sirte, Libya.

- According to Pentagon spokesman George Little, U.S. Defense Department costs for operations in Libya stand at about $1.1 billion as of September 30, which includes daily military operations, munitions, the draw down of supplies and humanitarian assistance.

October 23, 2011 - Libya's interim leaders declare the nation's freedom in Benghazi, where uprisings against Gadhafi's regime began in February.

October 27, 2011 - The United Nations Security Council votes unanimously to end military operations in Libya. The adopted resolution effectively cancels the NATO mission in Libya as of October 31, 2011.

October 31, 2011 - The National Transitional Council elects Abdurrahim El-Keib as acting prime minister, with the support of 26 of the 51 members who voted.

- NATO secretary general announces the official end of the NATO mission in Libya.

November 19, 2011 - Saif al-Islam Gadhafi is arrested.

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