Political Unrest in Libya Timeline

(February, 2011)

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Political Unrest in Libya Timeline

(February, 2011)

Libyan Flag

Libyan Flag

Map of Libya


February 14--Three days after the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, calls go out on Facebook for peaceful demonstrations in Libya against long-time dictator, Muammar Gadhafi. Gadhaff has ruled over Libya for more than four decades, and had supported theMubarak during the Egyptian uprising.


February 16--Some 200 protestersin the coastal city of Benghazi showed support for human rights activist Fathi Terbil a dissident lawyer. Several protesters are arrested by the police.


February 17--Libya's state-run media claimes that the government has released 110 political prisoners and that the possibility existed of major changes to the government. Calls are again posted on websites for a "Day of Rage" on the five-year anniversary of the shooting deaths of 14 protesters in 2006 in an Islamist rally in Benghazi. Seven people are killed in clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters.


February 18--Pro-government demonstrators take to the streets in the nation's capital in support of Gadhafi. Images from state television, labeled as "live," feature men chanting pro-Gadhafi slogans, waving flags and singing around the Libyan leader's limousine as it creeps through the capital of Tripoli. In Benghazi, human rights groups and protesters are attacked by pro-government security forces. Of the tens of thousands of protesters who take to the streets, at least 20 are killed and 200 are wounded by security forces firing into the crowds.


February 19--Protests turn more violent. In Benghazi, bloody clashes erupt, with soldiers firing tear gas and bullets at the crowds of protesters. At least 30 people are killed, most of them from gunshot wounds to the head. Protests have erupt in cities across the country, including al-Baida, Ajdabiya and Misratah, where anti-government protesters leaving noon prayers at a local mosque were confronted by crowds supporting oLibyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Human Rights Watch reports that 84 people have been killed in Libyan demonstrations since Tuesday.


February 20--Violence surges in Libya's second-largest city Benghazi where protesters take control of the city. Anti-government demonstrations also break out in Tripoli, the death toll from six days of unrest has killed at least 219 people nationwide.


February 21--Early on the morning of Monday, February 21, Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, appears on state television to warn demonstrators that if their protests do not subside, the country could fall into a civil war. Rebels take control of Benghazi. Foreign journalists (from CNN) begin reporting from Eastern Libya.

Gadhafi Speech

Gadhafi giving a crazed, rambling speech

February 22--Gadhafi gives a rambling hour-long speech in which he blames America for his problems, and calls the protesters and rebels "rats" who must be executed.

--The Arab League suspended the Libyan delegation from meetings until the crisis ends.

February 23--Former Justice Minister Mustafa Abud Al-Jeleil claimed that Gadhafi personally ordered the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

--foreign media increasingly referred to the situation in Libya as a "civil war."

--Casualties approached the 1,000 mark.

-- Tobruk and Misrata were reported to be in rebel hands.

--In the city of eastern Libyan city of Bayda, a provisional government was being formed by anti-Gadhafi leaders.


February 24--Forces loyal to the Libyan government counter-attacked rebels in the town of Zawiya, 30 miles west of Tripoli, and at the small airport outside Misrata, Libya's third largest city.

--World oil prices reached $120 a barrel due to concerns over the violence in Libya and the fear of further revolt in the oil-producing regions of the Middle East.

--Gadhafi's cousin, Gadhaf al-Dam, an aide who served as Gadhafi's personal ambassador to other nations, defected to Egypt and denounced the Libyan dictator.

March 1 --Col. Muammar el-Gadhafi’s forces made little headway in an assault on rebels in several cities around the country and in a major attack in the western city of Zawiyah. The rebels held the city after a night of heavy fighting, beating back tanks and artillery vehicles, special forces and regular army troops, and fighter jets.


March 3--Libyan government forces attempted an attack by both ground and air in the rebel-held city of Brega, but were beaten back by rebel forces.

--Western nations continue to discuss possible intervention in the Libyan war as American warships take up station near Libyan waters.

March 9--Battles continue in both western and eastern Libya between government forces and rebels while NATO discusses imposing a No-Fly Zone over Libya to aid the rebels.

March 13--Libyan government forces re-capture the oil port of Brega from the rebels.

--The Arab League voted unanimously to support a "No-Fly Zone" over Libya.

March 17--The United Nations Security Council declares a "No Fly Zone" over Libya

March 18--In response to the United Nations "No Fly Zone" over Libya, Colonel Gadhafi declares a unilateral cease-fire. Reports out of Libya indicate that offensive military action by Gadhafi's forces continue.


 Libya Revolution Links and Resources:

Background Note: Libya--U.S. State Department

Libya no-fly zone prompts Moammar Khadafy to announce ceasefire with rebel forces--New York Daily News, March 18, 2011


Libyan rebels 'cleansed' from Brega : Government forces regain key oil town, state TV reports, as anti-Gaddafi rebels fall back towards eastern strongholds--Al Jazeera, March 13, 2011


The neocons are trying to talk us into war -- again--Salon, March 8, 2011


Rebels in Libya Win Battle but Fail to Loosen Qaddafi’s Grip--New York Times, March 3, 2011

Qaddafi Forces Violently Quell Capital Protest--New York Times, Feb. 25, 2011

Analysis: Revolt in Libya likely to scar its oil sector--Reuters, Feb. 24, 2011

Gadhafi loyalists counterattack as rebels near capital--MSNBC, Feb. 24, 2011

America's Next War Looms in Libya--New American Media, Feb. 23, 2011

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