2011 military intervention in Libya
Military intervention in Libya Part of 2011 Libyan civil war
The no-fly zone over Libya as well as bases and warships which are involved in the intervention
Date 19 March 2011–31 October 2011 (235 days) Location Libya Belligerents States enforcing UN SC Resolution 1973:
- United Kingdom
- United States
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya: Commanders and leaders Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Sir Stuart Peach
Barack H. Obama
Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Muammar Gaddafi †
Casualties and losses 1 airman killed in traffic accident in Italy
1 USAF MQ-8 shot down
3 Dutch Marines captured (later released)
1 Royal Netherlands Navy Lynx captured
1 USAF F-15E crashed (Mechanical failure)
1 UAEAF F-16 damaged upon landing
1,492 tanks, armored personnel carriers, technicals, SAM trans/loader vehicles, and other vehicles destroyed or damaged
350 ammunition facilities
535 surface-to-air missile systems and anti-air guns hit
Several aircraft destroyed or damaged
412 command and control buildings and other facilities
16 staging and firing areas
Unknown number of soldiers killed or wounded (NATO claim by 29 April)
1,108 civilians killed and 4,500 wounded (Libyan health ministry claims by July 13)*
40 civilians killed (in Tripoli; Vatican claim)
*Libyan health ministry claim has not been independently confirmed. The US military claimed it had no knowledge of civilian casualties.
Timeline (main article)1st Benghazi – 1st Tripoli clashes – Misrata – 1st Zawiya – Nafusa Mountains (Wazzin – Gharyan) – 1st Brega – Ra's Lanuf – Bin Jawad – 2nd Brega – Ajdabiya – 2nd Benghazi – 1st Gulf of Sidra offensive – 3rd Brega – Brega–Ajdabiya – Cyrenaican desert – Misrata frontline (Taworgha – Zliten) – Zliten uprising – Sabha clashes – Zawiya raid – 4th Brega – Fezzan desert (Sabha) – Msallata clashes – Rebel coastal offensive (2nd Zawiya – Ras Ajdir – Tripoli) – 2nd Gulf of Sidra offensive (Sirte) – Bani Walid – Ra's Lanuf raid – Ghadames raid – 2nd Tripoli clashes
Feb–18 Mar - 19 Mar–May - Jun–15 Aug - 16 Aug–OctMilitary intervention in Libya
On 19 March 2011, a multi-state coalition began a military intervention in Libya to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which was taken in response to events during the 2011 Libyan civil war. On 19 March, military operations began, with US and British forces firing over 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles, the French Air Force and British Royal Air Force undertaking sorties across Libya and a naval blockade by the Royal Navy. Air strikes against Libyan Army tanks and vehicles by French jets were since confirmed. The official names for the interventions by the coalition members are Opération Harmattan by France; Operation Ellamy by the United Kingdom; Operation Mobile for the Canadian participation and Operation Odyssey Dawn for the United States.
Since the beginning of the intervention, the initial coalition of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Qatar, Spain, UK and US has expanded to nineteen states, with newer states mostly enforcing the no-fly zone and naval blockade or providing military logistical assistance. The effort was initially largely led by France and the United Kingdom, with command shared with the United States. NATO took control of the arms embargo on 23 March, named Operation Unified Protector. An attempt to unify the military command of the air campaign (whilst keeping political and strategic control with a small group), first failed over objections by the French, German, and Turkish governments. On 24 March, NATO agreed to take control of the no-fly zone, while command of targeting ground units remains with coalition forces. The handover occurred on 31 March 2011 at 06:00 UTC.
Fighting in Libya ended in late October following the death of Muammar Gaddafi, and NATO has stated it will end operations over Libya on 31 October 2011. However, Libya's new government requested that its mission be extended to the end of the year, but on 27 October, the Security Council voted to end NATO's mandate for military action on 31 October.
- 1 Proposal for the no-fly zone
- 2 Enforcement
- 3 Civilian losses
- 4 Military losses on the coalition side
- 5 Reaction
- 6 Costs
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
Proposal for the no-fly zone
Both Libyan and international states and organizations called for a no-fly zone over Libya in light of airstrikes against Libyan rebels conducted by Muammar Gaddafi's military in the 2011 Libyan civil war.
- 21 February 2011: Libyan deputy Permanent Representative to UN Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi "(called) on the UN to impose a no-fly zone on all Tripoli to cut off all supplies of arms and mercenaries to the regime."
- 23 February 2011: French President Nicolas Sarkozy pushed for the European Union (EU) to pass sanctions against Gaddafi (freezing Gaddafi family funds abroad) and demand he stop attacks against civilians.
- 25 February 2011: Sarkozy said Gaddafi "must go".
- 28 February 2011: British Prime Minister David Cameron proposed the idea of a no-fly zone to prevent Gaddafi from "airlifting mercenaries" and "using his military aeroplanes and armoured helicopters against civilians."
- 1 March 2011: The US Senate unanimously passes non-binding Senate resolution S.RES.85 urging the United Nations Security Council to impose a Libyan no-fly zone and encouraging Gaddafi to step down. The US had naval forces positioned off the coast of Libya, as well as forces already in the region, including the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.
- 2 March 2011: The Governor General of Canada-in-Council authorises, on the advice of Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper, the deployment of the Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Charlottetown to the Mediterranean, off the coast of Libya. Canadian National Defence Minister Peter MacKay stated that "[w]e are there for all inevitabilities. And NATO is looking at this as well ... This is taken as a precautionary and staged measure."
- 7 March 2011: US Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder announced that NATO decided to step up surveillance missions of E-3 AWACS aircraft to twenty-four hours a day. On the same day, it was reported that an anonymous UN diplomat confirmed to Agence France Presse that France and Britain were drawing up a resolution on the no-fly zone that would be considered by the UN Security Council during the same week. The Gulf Cooperation Council also on that day called upon the UN Security Council to "take all necessary measures to protect civilians, including enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya."
- 9 March 2011: The head of the Libyan National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, "pleaded for the international community to move quickly to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, declaring that any delay would result in more casualties". Three days later, he stated that if pro-Gaddafi forces reached Benghazi, then they would kill "half a million" people. He stated, "If there is no no-fly zone imposed on Gaddafi's regime, and his ships are not checked, we will have a catastrophe in Libya."
- 10 March 2011: France recognized the Libyan NTC as the legitimate government of Libya soon after Sarkozy met with them in Paris. This meeting was arranged by Bernard-Henri Lévy.
- 11 March 2011: Cameron joined forces with Sarkozy after Sarkozy demanded immediate action from international community for a no-fly zone against air attacks by Gaddafi.
- 12 March 2011: Nine out of the twenty-two Arab League members "called on the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya in a bid to protect civilians from air attack". The Arab League's request was announced by Omani Foreign MinisterYusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, who stated that all member states present at the meeting agreed with the proposal. On 12 March, thousands of Libyan women marched in the streets of the rebel-held town of Benghazi, calling for the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya.
- 14 March 2011: In Paris at the Élysée Palace, before the summit with the G8 Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sarkozy, who is also the president of the G8, along with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and impressed her upon to push for intervention in Libya.
- 15 March 2011: A resolution for a no-fly zone was proposed by Nawaf Salam, Lebanon's Ambassador to the UN. The resolution was immediately backed by France and the United Kingdom.
- 17 March 2011: The UN Security Council, acting under the authority of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, approved a no-fly zone by a vote of ten in favour, zero against, and five abstentions, via United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. The five abstentions were: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Germany. Less than twenty-four hours later, Libya announced that it would halt all military operations in response to the UN Security Council resolution.
- 18 March 2011: The Libyan foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, said that he had declared a ceasefire, attributing the UN resolution. However, artillery shelling on Misrata and Ajdabiya continued, and government soldiers continued approaching Benghazi. Government troops and tanks entered the city on 19 March. Artillery and mortars were also fired into the city. US President Barack Obama held a meeting with eighteen senior lawmakers at the White House on the afternoon of 18 March
- 19 March 2011: French forces began the military intervention in Libya, later joined by coalition forces with strikes against armoured units south of Benghazi and attacks on Libyan air-defence systems, as UN Security Council Resolution 1973 called for using "all necessary means" to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas from attack, imposed a no-fly zone, and called for an immediate and with-standing cease-fire, while also strengthening travel bans on members of the regime, arms embargoes, and asset freezes.
- 21 March 2011: Obama sent a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.
- 24 March 2011: In telephone negotiations, French foreign minister Alain Juppé conceded to let NATO take over all military operations on 29 March at the latest, allowing Turkey to veto strikes on Gaddafi ground forces from that point forward. Later reports stated that NATO would take over enforcement of the no-fly zone and the arms embargo, but discussions were still under way about whether NATO would take over the protection of civilians mission. Turkey reportedly wanted the power to veto airstrikes, while France wanted to prevent Turkey from having such a veto.
- 25 March 2011: NATO Allied Joint Force Command in Naples took command of the no-fly zone over Libya and combined it with the ongoing arms embargo operation under the name Operation Unified Protector.
- 28 March 2011: Obama addressed the American people on Libya.
Initial NATO planning for a possible no-fly zone took place in late February and early March, especially by NATO members France and the United Kingdom. France and the UK were early supporters of a no-fly zone and have sufficient airpower to impose a no-fly zone over the rebel-held areas, although they might need additional assistance for a more extensive exclusion zone.
The US had the air assets necessary to enforce a no-fly zone, but was cautious to support such an action prior to obtaining a legal basis for violating Libya's sovereignty. However, due to the sensitive nature of military action by the US against an Arab nation, the US sought Arab participation in the enforcement of a no-fly zone.
At a congressional hearing, United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates explained that "a no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defences ... and then you can fly planes around the country and not worry about our guys being shot down. But that's the way it starts."
On 19 March, the deployment of French fighter jets over Libya began, and other states began their individual operations. Phase One started the same day with the involvement of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada.
On 24 March, NATO ambassadors agreed that NATO will take command of the no-fly zone enforcement, while other military operations remained the responsibility of the group of states previously involved, with NATO expected to take control as early as 26 March. The decision was made after meetings of NATO members to resolve disagreements over whether military operations in Libya should include attacks on ground forces. The decision will create a two-level power structure overseeing military operations. In charge politically will be a committee, led by NATO, that includes all states participating in enforcing the no-fly zone, while NATO alone will be responsible for military action. Royal Canadian Air Force Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard has been appointed to command the NATO military mission.
Before NATO took full command of operations at 06:00 GMT on 31 March 2011 (it should be noted that command of targeting ground units still remains with coalition forces and their national operations), the military intervention in the form of a no-fly zone and naval blockade was split between different national operations:
- BEL: Operation Odyssey Dawn and/or Operation Freedom Falcon
- CAN: Operation Mobile
- FRA: Opération Harmattan
- UK: Operation Ellamy
- ESP, Operación Odisea al Amanecer
- US, ITA, DEN, NOR: Operation Odyssey Dawn
These are the forces committed in alphabetical order.
- BEL: Six F-16 Falcon fighter jets of the Belgian Air Component, were already stationed at Araxos, Greece for an exercise, and flew their first mission in the afternoon of 21 March. They have monitored the no-fly zone throughout the operation and have successfully attacked ground targets multiple times since 27 March, all of them without collateral damage. The Belgian Naval Component minehunter BNS Narcis was part of NATO's SNMCMG1 at the start of the operation and assisted in NATO's naval blockade from 23 March. The ship was later replaced by the minehunter BNS Lobelia in august.
- BGR: The Bulgarian Navy Wielingen class frigate Drazki will participate in the naval blockade, along with a number of "special naval forces", two medical teams and other humanitarian help. The frigate left port on 27 April and arrived off the coast of Libya on 2 May. It is slated to patrol for one month before returning to Bulgaria, with a supply stop at the Greek port of Souda scheduled after two weeks of patrolling.
- CAN: The Royal Canadian Air Force has deployed seven (six front line, one reserve) CF-18 fighter jets, two CC-150 Polaris refuelling airplanes, two CC-177 Globemaster III heavy transports, two CC-130J Super Hercules tactical transports, and two CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft. The Royal Canadian Navy deployed the Halifax-class frigates HMCS Charlottetown and HMCS Vancouver. A total of 440 Canadian Forces personnel are participating in Operation Mobile. There are reports that special operations are being conducted by Joint Task Force 2 in association with Britain's Special Air Service (SAS) and Special Boat Service (SBS) as part of Canada's contribution.
- DEN: The Royal Danish Air Force is participating with six F-16AM fighters, one C-130J-30 Super Hercules military transport plane and the corresponding ground crews. Only four F-16s will be used for offensive operations, while the remaining two will act as reserves. The first airstrikes from Danish aircraft were carried out on 23 March, with four aircraft making twelve sorties as part of Operation Odyssey Dawn. Danish flights have bombed approximately 17 % of all targets in Libya and together with Norwegian flights they have been the most efficient in proportion to the number of flights involved.
- FRA: French Air Force, which realizes 35% of NATO's strikes, is participating in the mission with 18 Mirage, 19 Rafale, 6 Mirage F1, 6 Super Etendard, 2E-2 Hawkeye, 2C-2 Greyhound, 3 Eurocopter Tiger, 16 Gazelle Aircraft. In addition, the French Navy anti-air destroyer Forbin and the frigate Jean Bart are participating in the operations. On 22 March, the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle was sent to be positioned in international waters near Crete to provide military planners with a rapid-response air combat capability. Accompanying the Charles de Gaulle are the frigates Dupleix, Aconit, the fleet replenishment tanker Meuse, and one nuclear attack submarine SNA. France is stationing three Mirage 2000-5 aircraft and 6 Mirage 2000D at Souda Bay, Crete. France also sent an amphibious assault helicopter carrier, the Tonnerre, carrying 19 rotorcrafts to operate off the coast of Libya.
- GRE: The Elli-class frigate Limnos of the Hellenic Navy was deployed to the waters off Libya as part of the naval blockade. The Hellenic Air Force provides Super Puma search-and-rescue helicopters and an Embraer 145 AEW&C airborne radar plane.
- ITA: At the beginning of the operation, as a contribution to enforce the no-fly zone, the Italian government committed four Tornado ECRs of the Italian Air Force in SEAD operations, supported by two Tornado IDS variants in an air-to-air refuelling role and four F-16 ADF fighters as escort. After the transfer of authority to NATO and the decision to participate in strike air-ground operations, the Italian government assigned under NATO command four Italian Navy AV8-B plus (from Garibaldi), four Italian Air Force Eurofighters, four Tornado ECRs. Other assets under national command participate in air patrolling and air refueling missions. . As of 24 March, the Italian Navy is engaged in Operation Unified Protector with the light aircraft carrier Garibaldi, the Maestrale-class frigate Libeccio and the auxiliary ship Etna. Additionally, the Horizon-class destroyer Andrea Doria and Maestrale-class frigate Euro are patrolling off the Sicilian coast in an air-defence role.
- JOR: Six Royal Jordanian Air Force fighter jets landed at a coalition airbase in Europe on 4 April to provide "logistical support" and act as an escort for Jordanian transport aircraft using the humanitarian corridor to deliver aid and supplies to opposition-held Cyrenaica, according to Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. He did not specify the type of aircraft or what specific roles they may be called upon to perform, though he said they were not intended for combat.
- NATO: E-3 airborne early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft operated by NATO and crewed by member states help monitor airspace over the Mediterranean and in Libya.
- NED: The Royal Netherlands Air Force provides six F-16AM fighters and a KDC-10 refuelling plane. These aircraft are stationed at the Decimomannu Air Base on Sardinia. Four F-16s are flying patrols over Libya, while the other two are being kept in reserve. Additionally, the Royal Netherlands Navy has deployed the Tripartite-class minehunter HNLMS Haarlem to assist in enforcing the weapons embargo.
- NOR: The Royal Norwegian Air Force has deployed six F-16AM fighters to Souda Bay Air Base. On 24 March, the Norwegian F16s were assigned to the US North African command and Operation Odyssey Dawn. A number of the aircraft have participated in operations over Libya. Prime minister Jens Stoltenberg also stated that Norway will participate in the humanitarian aid to follow. It has also been reported that Norwegian fighters along with Danish are the ones that have bombed most targets in Libya in proportion to the number of planes involved. The Norwegian participation in the military efforts against the Libyan government came to an end in late July 2011, by which time Norwegian aircraft had dropped close to 600 bombs.
- QAT: The Qatar Armed Forces are contributing six Mirage 2000-5EDA fighter jets and two C-17 strategic transport aircraft to coalition no-fly zone enforcement efforts. The Qatari aircraft are stationed in Crete. At later stages in the Operation, Qatari Special Forces have been assisting in operations, including the training of the Tripoli Brigade.
- ROM: The Romanian Naval Forces are participating in the naval blockade with the frigate Regele Ferdinand.
- ESP: The Spanish Armed Forces are participating with six F-18 fighters, two Boeing 707-331B(KC) tanker aircrafts, the Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate Méndez Núñez, the submarine Tramontana and twoCN-235 MPA maritime surveillance plane. Spain has participated in air control, maritime surveillance and in the mission to prevent the inflow of arms to the Libyan regime. Spain also has also made available to NATO Rota base.
- SWE: The Royal Swedish Air Force will commit eight JAS 39 Gripen jets for the international air campaign after being asked by NATO to take part in the operations on 28 March. Sweden will also send a Saab 340 AEW&C for airborne early warning and control and a C-130 Hercules for aerial refueling. In a recent poll some 65 percent of Swedes wanted their state to take part in the international air campaign to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. Seven of Sweden's eight parliament parties are in favour of contributing Swedish military assets to the no-fly zone. Sweden is the only country neither a member of NATO nor the Arab League participating in the no-fly zone.
- TUR: The Turkish Navy will participate with five ships and one submarine in the NATO-led naval blockade to enforce the arms embargo. It is additionally providing six F-16 Fighting Falcon jets for aerial operations. On 24 March, Turkey's parliament approved Turkish participation in military operations in Libya, including enforcing the NFZ in Libya.
- UAE: On 24 March, the United Arab Emirates Air Force sent six F-16 Falcon and six Mirage 2000 fighter jets to join the mission. The planes are based at the Italian airbase at Decimomannu, Sardinia.
- UK: The United Kingdom has deployed vessels such as the Royal Navy frigates HMS Westminster (F237) and HMS Cumberland (F85), nuclear attack submarines HMS Triumph (S93) and HMS Turbulent (S87), the destroyer HMS Liverpool (D92) and the mine countermeasure vessel HMS Brocklesby (M33). The Royal Air Force has 16 Tornado and 10 Typhoon fighters operating initially from Great Britain, now forward deployed to the Italian base at Gioia del Colle. Surveillance aircraft such as the Nimrod R1 and Sentinel R1 are forward deployed to RAF Akrotiri in support of the action. In addition the RAF have deployed a number of other support aircraft such as the Sentry AEW.1 AWACS aircraft and VC10 air-to-air refuelling tankers. According to anonymous sources, members of the SAS, SBS and Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) and help to coordinate the air strikes on the ground in Libya. As of 27 May, the UK had deployed four UK Apache helicopters on board HMS Ocean.
- USA: The United States has deployed a naval force of 11 ships, including the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge, the amphibious transport dock USS Ponce, the guided-missile destroyers USS Barry and USS Stout, the nuclear attack submarines USS Providence and USS Scranton, the cruise missile submarine USS Florida and the amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney. Additionally, A-10 ground-attack aircraft, B-2 stealth bombers, AV-8B Harrier II jump-jets, EA-18 electronic warfare aircraft, and both F-15 and F-16 fighters have been involved in action over Libya. U-2 reconnaissance aircraft are stationed on Cyprus. On 18 March, two AC-130Us arrived at RAF Mildenhall as well as additional tanker aircraft. On 24 March 2 E-8Cs operated from Naval Station Rota Spain, which indicates an increase of ground attacks. An undisclosed number of CIA operatives are said to be in Libya to gather intelligence for airstrikes and make contacts with rebels. The US also began using MQ-1 Predator UAVs to strike targets in Libya on 23 April.
USS Florida launching a Tomahawk cruise missile
Qatari Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter jet
American stealth bomber, B-2
- FRA: Saint-Dizier, Dijon, Nancy, Istres, Solenzara, Avord
- GRE: Souda, Aktion, Araxos, and Andravida
- ITA: Amendola, Decimomannu, Gioia del Colle, Trapani, Pantelleria, Capodichino
- ESP: Rota, Morón, Torrejón
- TUR: Incirlik, İzmir
- UK: RAF Akrotiri, RAF Marham, RAF Waddington
- USA: Aviano (IT), Lakenheath (UK), Mildenhall (UK), Sigonella (IT), Spangdahlem (GE), Ellsworth AFB (US)
Actions by other states
- Albania: Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha said that Albania is ready to help. Prime Minister Berisha supported the decision of the coalition to protect civilians from the Libyan regime of Gaddafi. Berisha also offered assistance to facilitate the international coalition actions. In a press release of the Prime Ministry, these operations are considered entirely legitimate, having as main objective the protection of freedoms and universal rights that Libyans deserve. On 29 March, Foreign Minister Edmond Haxhinasto said Albania would open its airspace and territorial waters to coalition forces and said its seaports and airports were at the coalition's disposal upon request. Haxhinasto also suggested that Albania could make a "humanitarian" contribution to international efforts. In mid-April, the International Business Times listed Albania alongside several other NATO member states, including Romania and Turkey, that have made "modest" contributions to the military effort, although it did not go into detail.
- Australia: Prime Minister Julia Gillard and others in her Labor government have said Australia will not contribute militarily to enforcement of the UN mandate despite registering strong support for its implementation, but the opposition Liberal Party's defence spokesman has called upon the government to consider dispatching Australian military assets if requested by NATO. Defence Minister Stephen Smith said the government would be willing to send C-17 Globemaster heavy transport planes for use in international operations "as part of a humanitarian contribution", if needed. Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd described Australia as the "third largest [humanitarian contributor to Libya] globally after the United States and the European Union" on 27 April, after a humanitarian aid ship funded by the Australian government docked in Misurata.
- Croatia: President Ivo Josipović said that if it becomes necessary Croatia will honour its NATO membership and participate in the actions in Libya. He also stressed that while Croatia is ready for military participation according to its capabilities, it will mostly endeavor to help on the humanitarian side. On 29 April, the government announced it planned to send two Croatian Army officers to assist with Operation Unified Protector pending formal presidential and parliamentary approval.
- Cyprus: After the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, President Demetris Christofias asked the British government not to use its military base at Akrotiri, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom on the island of Cyprus, in support of the intervention, though this request had no legal weight as Nicosia cannot legally bar the United Kingdom from using the base. The Cypriot government reluctantly allowed Qatar Emiri Air Force fighter jets and a transport plane to refuel at Larnaca International Airport on 22 March after their pilots declared a fuel emergency while in transit to Crete for participation in international military operations.
- Estonia: Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said on 18 March that his country has no current plans to join in military operations in Libya, but it would be willing to participate if called upon to do so by NATO or the European Union. The Estonian Air Force does not presently operate any fighter aircraft, though it does operate a few helicopters and transport planes.
- European Union: Finnish foreign minister Alexander Stubb announced that the proposed EUFOR Libya operation is being prepared, waiting for a request from the UN.
- Germany: Germany has withdrawn all forces from NATO operations in the Mediterranean Sea as its government decided not to take part in any military operations against Libya. However it is increasing the number of AWACS personnel in Afghanistan by up to 300 to free forces of other states. Germany allows the usage of military installations on its territory for the intervention in Libya. On 8 April, German officials suggested that Germany could potentially contribute troops to "[ensure] with military means that humanitarian aid gets to those who need it". As of early June, the German government is reportedly considering opening a center for training police in Benghazi. On July 24, Germany lent €100 million Euros ($144 million USD) to the rebels for "civilian and humanitarian purposes".
- Indonesia: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called for a ceasefire by all sides, but said that if a UN peacekeeping force was established to monitor a potential truce, "Indonesia is more than willing to take part."
- Kuwait: The Arab state will make a "logistic contribution", according to the British Prime Minister David Cameron.
- Malta: Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said no coalition forces would be allowed to stage from military bases in Malta, but Maltese airspace would be open to international forces involved in the intervention. On 20 April, two French Mirages were reportedly allowed to make emergency landings in Malta after running low on fuel.
- Poland: US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, UK Secretary of Defense Liam Fox, and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen have urged the Polish government to contribute to military operations. As of June 2011, Warsaw has not committed to participation.
- Sudan: The government has "quietly granted permission" for coalition states to traverse its airspace for operations in the Libyan theater if necessary, Reuters reported in late March.
Action by international forces
- 14 May: NATO air strike hit a large number of people gathered for Friday prayers in the eastern city of Brega leaving 11 religious leaders dead and 50 others wounded.
- 24 May: NATO air strikes in Tripoli kill 19 civilians and wound 150, according to Libyan state television.
- 31 May: Libya claims that NATO strikes have left up to 718 civilians dead.
- 19 June: NATO air strikes hit a residential house in Tripoli, killing seven civilians, according to Libyan state television.
- 20 June: A NATO airstrike in Sorman, near Tripoli, killed fifteen civilians, according to government officials. Eight rockets apparently hit the compound of a senior government official, in an area where NATO confirmed operations had taken place.
- 25 June: NATO strikes on Brega hit a bakery and a restaurant, killing 15 civilians and wounding 20 more, Libyan state television claimed. The report further accused the coalition of "crimes against humanity". The claims were denied by NATO.
- 28 June: NATO airstrike on the town of Taworgha, 300 km east of the Libyan capital, Tripoli kills eight civilians.
- 25 July: NATO airstrike on a medical clinic in Zliten kills 11 civilians, though the claim was denied by NATO, who said they hit a vehicle depot and communications center.
- 20 July: NATO attacks Libyan state TV, Al-Jamahiriya. Three journalists killed.
- 9 August: Libyan government claims 85 civillians were killed in a NATO airsrike in Majer, a village near Zliten. A spokesman confirms that NATO bombed Zliten at 2:34 a.m. on August 9, but says he was unable to confirm the casualties. Commander of the NATO military mission, Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard says "I cannot believe that 85 civilians were present when we struck in the wee hours of the morning, and given our intelligence. But I cannot assure you that there were none at all".
- 15 September: Gaddafi spokesman Moussa Ibrahim declares that NATO air strikes killed 354 civilians and wounded 700 others, while 89 other civilians are supposedly missing. He also claims that over 2,000 civilians have been killed by NATO air strikes since 1 September. NATO denied the claims, saying they were unfounded.
Military losses on the coalition side
- 22 March: One USAF F-15E taking off from Aviano crashed in Bu Marim, northwest of Benghazi. Both airmen were recovered alive by US Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit based on the USS Kearsarge. The aircraft reportedly crashed due to a mechanical failure. The rescue operation involved two Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey aircraft, two Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters, and two McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II aircraft, all launched from the USS Kearsarge. The operation involved the Harriers' dropping 227 kg (500 lb) bombs and strafing the area around the crash site before an Osprey recovered at least one of the downed aircraft's crew; injuring six local civilians in the process.
- 27 April: An F-16 from the United Arab Emirates Air Force crashed at Naval Air Station Sigonella at about 11:35 local time; the pilot ejected safely. The aircraft was confirmed to be from the UAE by the country's General Command of the armed forces, and had been arriving from Sardinia when it crashed.
- 21 June: An unmanned MQ-8 Fire Scout went down over Libya, possibly due to enemy fire. NATO confirmed that they lost radar contact with the unmanned helicopter as it was performing an intelligence and reconnaissance mission near Zliten. NATO began investigating the crash shortly after it occurred. On 5 August, it was announced that the investigation had concluded that the cause of the crash was probably enemy fire; with operator or mechanical failure ruled out and the inability of investigators to access the crash site the "logical conclusion" was that the aircraft had been shot down.
- 20 July: A British airman was killed in a traffic accident in Italy while part of a logistical convoy transferring supplies from the UK to NATO bases in the south of Italy from which air strikes were being conducted against Libya.
Since the start of the campaign, there have been allegations of violating the limits imposed upon the intervention by Resolution 1973 and by US law. At the end of May 2011, Western troops were captured on film in Libya, despite Resolution 1973 specifically forbidding "a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory". In the article however, it reports that armed Westerners but not Western troops were on the ground.
On 10 June, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates criticized some of the NATO member nations for their efforts, or lack thereof, to participate in the intervention in Libya. Gates singled out Germany, Poland, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands for criticism. He praised Canada, Norway and Denmark, saying that although those three countries had only provided twelve percent of the aircraft to the operation, their aircraft had conducted one-third of the strikes.
On August 9, the head of UNESCO, Irina Bokova stated that she deplores the NATO strike on Libyan State TV, Al-Jamahiriya that killed 3 journalists and wounding more. She also stated "media outlets should not be targeted in military actions". On August 11, after the August 9 NATO airstrike on Majer, that allegedly killed 85 civilians, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on "all sides" to do as much as possible to avoid killing innocent people.
Responsibility to protect
The military intervention in Libya has been cited by the Council on Foreign Relations as an example of the responsibility to protect policy adopted by the UN at the 2005 World Summit. According to Gareth Evans, "[t]he international military intervention (SMH) in Libya is not about bombing for democracy or Muammar Gaddafi's head. Legally, morally, politically, and militarily it has only one justification: protecting the country's people." However, the Council also noted that the policy had been used only in Libya, and not in countries such as the Ivory Coast, undergoing a political crisis at the time, or in response to protests in Yemen. A CFR expert, Stewert Patrick, said that "There is bound to be selectivity and inconsistency in the application of the responsibility to protect norm given the complexity of national interests at stake in [...] the calculations of other major powers involved in these situations."
NATO have been criticized for claiming to protect civilians, but instead being responsible for the deaths of far more civilians as a result. NATO and the rebel forces have been criticized for a number of human rights violations, including indiscriminate bombardment of heavily-populated cities, the massacre of civilians, and racist lynchings.
Funds spent by Foreign Powers on War in Libya. Country Funds Spent By Canada $26 million USD June 2011 France $413 million USD October 2011 Italy $940 million USD June 2011 United Kingdom $400 million USD June 2011 United States $664 million USD May 2011
On 22 March 2011, BBC News presented a breakdown of the likely costs to the UK of the mission. Journalist Francis Tusa, editor of Defence Analysis, estimated that flying a Tornado GR4 would cost about £35,000 an hour, so the cost of patrolling one sector of Libyan airspace would be £2M –£3M per day. Conventional airborne missiles would cost £800,000 each and Tomahawk cruise missiles £750,000 each. Professor Malcolm Charmers of the Royal United Services Institute similarly suggested that a single cruise missile would cost about £500,000, while a single Tornado sortie would cost about £30,000 in fuel alone. If a Tornado was downed the replacement cost would be upwards of £50m. By 22 March the US and UK had already fired more than 110 cruise missiles. UK Chancellor George Osborne had said that the MoD estimate of the operation cost was "tens rather than hundreds of millions". On 4 April Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton said that the RAF was planning to continue operations over Libya for at least six months.
- Bombing of Libya (1986), code-named Operation El Dorado Canyon, response to 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing
- Iraqi no-fly zones, two similar operations carried out over Iraq:
- Operation Deny Flight, similar operation carried out during the Bosnian War (1992–1995)
- Ouadi Doum air raid, 1986 French air raid on Libyan airbase in Chad
- 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War
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- ^ Blake, Heidi (4 April 2011). "RAF Stretched to the Limit, Says Chief in Plea for Funds at". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/rafbombercommand/8425646/RAF-stretched-to-the-limit-says-chief-in-plea-for-funds.html. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- Bernard, Alexander (2004). "Lessons from Iraq and Bosnia on the Theory and Practice of No-Fly Zones". Journal of Strategic Studies 27 (3): 454–478. doi:10.1080/1362369042000282985.
- Betts, Richard K. (1994). "The Delusion of Impartial Intervention". Foreign Affairs 73 (6): 20–33. doi:10.2307/20046926.
- Chesterman, Simon (2011). "'Leading from Behind': The Responsibility to Protect, the Obama Doctrine, and Humanitarian Intervention After Libya". Ethics & International Affairs Forthcoming. http://ssrn.com/abstract=1855843.
- Krain, Matthew (2005). "International Intervention and the Severity of Genocides and Politicides". International Studies Quarterly 49 (3): 363–388. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2478.2005.00369.x.
- Libya: allied military assets and initial attack sites guardian.co.uk, 21 March 2011, interactive map
- Chulov, Martin; Dehghan, Saeed Kamali; Marsh, Katherine (21 March 2011). "Libyan Air Strikes: Reactions around the Middle East". The Guardian.
- Unofficial page about aircraft involved in Operation Harmattan
- Unofficial page about warships involved in Operation Harmattan
- Unofficial page about CVN Charles de Gaulle in Operation Harmattan
2011 Libyan civil war Part of the Arab Spring · Timeline (15 February–18 March · 19 March–31 May · June–15 August · 16 August–23 October) Forces BattlesCyrenaicaFirst Battle of Benghazi • First Battle of Brega • Battle of Ra's Lanuf • Battle of Bin Jawad • Second Battle of Brega • Battle of Ajdabiya • Second Battle of Benghazi • First Gulf of Sidra offensive • Third Battle of Brega • Battle of Brega–Ajdabiya road • Cyrenaica campaign • Fourth Battle of Brega • Ra's Lanuf raidFezzanSabha clashes • Fezzan campaign • Battle of Sabha • Ghadames raidTripolitania
First Tripoli clashes • Battle of Misrata • First Battle of Zawiya • Nafusa Mountain Campaign (Battle of Wazzin • Battle of Gharyan) • Battle of the Misrata frontline (Zliten uprising • Battle of Zliten • Battle of Taworgha) • Zawiya raid • Msallata clashes • Rebel coastal offensive (Second Battle of Zawiya) • Ras Ajdir clashes • Battle of Tripoli • Second Gulf of Sidra offensive (Battle of Sirte) • Battle of Bani Walid • Second Tripoli clashes
NATO operations PeopleAnti-GaddafiPro-GaddafiNATOOthers Places, buildings
ImpactCasualties • Domestic responses (Gaddafi's response to the protests – Gaddafi's response to the civil war) • Human rights violations (Rape allegations) • Humanitarian situation (Refugees) • International reactions (International reactions to military intervention – Protests against military intervention – U.S. reactions to military intervention – International reactions to Gaddafi's death) OtherDemocratic Party (Libya) • Libyan Freedom and Democracy Campaign • Media • National Transitional Council • Topple the Tyrants • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970 • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 • United Nations Security Council Resolution 2016 • Voice of Free Libya • Zenga Zenga Italics denote operations or battles related to the military intervention in Libya
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Major armed conflicts involving the United States Armed Forces listed chronologically Internal International
Revolutionary War · Quasi-War · First Barbary War · War of 1812 · Second Barbary War · First Sumatran Expedition · Second Sumatran Expedition · Ivory Coast Expedition · Mexican–American War · First Fiji Expedition · Second Opium War · Second Fiji Expedition · Korean Expedition · Spanish–American War · Philippine–American War · Boxer Rebellion · Banana Wars · Border War · World War I · Russian Civil War · World War II · Korean War · Vietnam War · Invasion of the Dominican Republic · Invasion of Grenada · Lebanese Civil War · Invasion of Panama · Gulf War · Somali Civil War · Bosnian War · Kosovo War · Afghanistan War · Iraq War · War in North-West Pakistan · Libyan Civil War · Lord's Resistance Army insurgency
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