The Second Battle of Benghazi was a battle in the Libyan Civil War between army units and militiamen loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and anti-Gaddafi forces in Benghazi.The battle marked the start of a United Nations-mandated military intervention in the conflict, with fighter jets from the French Air Force attacking and destroying several pro-Gaddafi units, forcing them to retreat.
Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, commonly known as Colonel Gaddafi, was a Libyan revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He governed Libya as Revolutionary Chairman of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977, and then as the "Brotherly Leader" of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1977 to 2011. He was initially ideologically committed to Arab nationalism and Arab socialism but later ruled according to his own Third International Theory.
The anti-Gaddafi forces were Libyan groups that opposed and militarily defeated the government of Muammar Gaddafi, killing him in the process. These opposition forces included organized and armed militia groups, participants in the Libyan Civil War, Libyan diplomats who switched their allegiance from the Gaddafi-led government, and Libyan military units that switched sides to support the protestors.
Benghazi is the second-most populous city in Libya and the largest in Cyrenaica.
On 18 March, Gaddafi's forces bypassed Ajdabiya by using the coastal roads instead of the roads directly linked with Ajdabiya, avoiding the need to capture Ajdabiya to proceed. By night the loyalist troops had positioned themselves within kilometres of Benghazi's two southern entry points, the western southern gate being called the west gate.
Ajdabiya, previously known as Agedabia, is a town in and capital of the Al Wahat District in northeastern Libya. It is some 150 kilometres (93 mi) south of Benghazi. From 2001 to 2007 it was part of and capital of the Ajdabiya District. The town is divided into three Basic People's Congresses: North Ajdabiya, West Ajdabiya and East Ajdabiya.
At 7:30 am local time on 19 March, Gaddafi's forces began artillery shelling the city. At around 9:00 am local time they entered the city from west and south with tanks.Rebel armoured units engaged the initial loyalist armoured column at around 10:00 AM Twelve T-72 tanks spearheaded the main thrust into the city, and by 10:30 AM, it seemed the Benghazi was in danger of falling to Pro Gaddafi forces. A rebel tank, aging and rusted, opened fire on the lead pro Gaddafi tank, damaging it and forced its occupants to abandon the vehicle. The tanks behind the lead vehicle all began a withdrawal from the area, under rebel fire, and retreated apparently to the city limits.
By 2:30 pm local time the opposition fighters had repelled the first wave of loyalist forces out of the city. During the daytime battles, a rebel MiG-23 crashed to the ground in the outskirts of Benghazi. – these are ours".The pilot, Colonel Mohammed Mbarak al-Okaili, remained in the plane until moments before the crash before ejecting but was reported not to have survived the crash. The cause of the crash was unclear, but may have been a catastrophic engine failure or friendly fire from rebel air-defences that had mistaken it for a loyalist plane. This prompted rebels to use loudspeakers, mainly from mosques, urging not to "attack the planes
At around 4:00 pm local time, French fighter jets entered Libyan airspace and flew over Benghazi, conducting aerial reconnaissance missions and preparing to intervene.Then, at 4:45 pm, coalition intervention began as a French fighter jet fired on and destroyed several loyalist armored vehicles. Later, Al Jazeera reported that French fighter jets had destroyed at least four of the regime's force's tanks; however, this was not confirmed by France.
Aerial reconnaissance is reconnaissance for a military or strategic purpose that is conducted using reconnaissance aircraft. The role of reconnaissance can fulfil a variety of requirements including artillery spotting, the collection of imagery intelligence, and the observation of enemy maneuvers.
On 19 March 2011, a multi-state NATO-led coalition began a military intervention in Libya, ostensibly to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. The United Nations intent and voting was to have "an immediate ceasefire in Libya, including an end to the current attacks against civilians, which it said might constitute crimes against humanity ... imposing a ban on all flights in the country's airspace – a no-fly zone – and tightened sanctions on the [Muammar] Gaddafi regime and its supporters." The resolution was taken in response to events during the Libyan Civil War, and military operations began, with American and British naval forces firing over 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles, the French Air Force, British Royal Air Force, and Royal Canadian Air Force undertaking sorties across Libya and a naval blockade by Coalition forces. French jets launched air strikes against Libyan Army tanks and vehicles. Despite the use of foreign airstrikes, the intervention did not consist of foreign ground troops. The Libyan government response to the campaign was totally ineffectual, with Gaddafi's forces not managing to shoot down a single NATO plane despite the country possessing 30 heavy SAM batteries, 17 medium SAM batteries, 55 light SAM batteries, and 440–600 short-ranged air-defense guns. 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. Italy initially opposed the intervention but then offered to take part in the operations on the condition that NATO took the leadership of the mission instead of individual countries. As this condition was later met, Italy shared its bases and intelligence with the allies.
Al Jazeera, is a state-funded broadcaster in Doha, Qatar, owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network. Initially launched as an Arabic news and current-affairs satellite TV channel, Al Jazeera has since expanded into a network with several outlets, including the Internet and specialty television channels in multiple languages.
On the morning of the next day, air attacks were conducted against a loyalist tank column from 4:00AM for two hours. It was confirmed by a Reuters reporter that at least seven tanks and two armored personnel carriers were destroyed in the French air strikes.
Reuters is an international news organization. It is a division of Thomson Reuters and has nearly 200 locations around the world. Until 2008, the Reuters news agency formed part of an independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data. Since the acquisition of Reuters Group by the Thomson Corporation in 2008, the Reuters news agency has been a part of Thomson Reuters, making up the media division. Reuters transmits news in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. It was established in 1851.
Admiral Mullen of the United States announced on 20 March, that the international coalition had stopped the regime's progression on Benghazi.
The Battle of Misrata, also known as the Siege of Misrata, was a battle of the 2011 Libyan Civil War for the control of Misrata. It was fought between troops loyal to the government of Muammar Gaddafi, and anti-Gaddafi rebels who held Misrata, the third largest city in Libya. Following the initial stages of the uprising, the Libyan government took back most towns in the west of the country, leaving Misrata the only major city under rebel control in Tripolitania. The city soon became the site of one of the war's major battles. The suffering of Misrata's citizens gained worldwide attention. The intensity of fighting, and its importance both strategic and symbolic, earned the battle notice as 'Libya's Stalingrad'. During the siege, the city saw very heavy fighting, came under daily assaults and shelling, and was at times cut off from its seaport, leaving no escape route for Misrata's inhabitants. Following UN military intervention in the civil war, NATO declared that breaking the encirclement of the city was its top priority. It ranks as one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the entire war. In late April and early May, rebel counterattacks successfully retook the city, culminating in the fall of the airport and nearby military airbase on 11 May.
The First Battle of Benghazi occurred as part of the Libyan Civil War between army units and militiamen loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and anti-Gaddafi forces in February 2011. The battle mainly took place in Benghazi, the second-largest city in Libya, with related clashes occurring in the nearby Cyrenaican cities of Bayda and Derna. In Benghazi itself most of the fighting occurred during a siege of the government-controlled Katiba compound.
The Libyan Civil War began on 17 February 2011 as a civil protest and later evolved into a widespread uprising. By mid-August, anti-Gaddafi forces effectively supported by a NATO-led international coalition were ascendant in Tripolitania, breaking out of the restive Nafusa Mountains in the south to mount an offensive toward the coast and advancing from Misrata on loyalist-held cities and villages from the north and east.
The National Liberation Army, formerly known as the Free Libyan Army, was a Libyan military organisation affiliated with the National Transitional Council, which was constituted during the Libyan Civil War by defected military members and civilian volunteers, in order to engage in battle against both remaining members of the Libyan Armed Forces and paramilitia loyal to the rule of Muammar Gaddafi. It had prepared for some time in portions of Eastern Libya controlled by the anti-Gaddafi forces for eventual full-on combat in Western Libya against pro-Gaddafi militants, training many men before beginning to go on the offensive. They have battled for control of Benghazi, Misrata, Brega, Ajdabiya, Zawiya and Ra's Lanuf as well as several towns in the Nafusa Mountains. They finally began the Battle for Tripoli in August 2011 when they attacked from the west of the city, as well as fomenting an internal uprising on 20 August.
The First Battle of Brega was fought during the Libyan Civil War. It began when pro-Gaddafi government troops attacked the city, held by the National Transitional Council, in the early hours of 2 March 2011.
The Battle of Ra's Lanuf was a two-phase battle in 2011 during the Libyan Civil War between forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and those loyal to the National Transitional Council. Both forces sought control of the town of Ra's Lanuf. The first phase followed two days after the First Battle of Brega which occurred in the town Brega, roughly 130 kilometres (81 mi) to the east of Ra's Lanuf. After conquering the town on 4 March, the rebels pushed further west to attack Sirte but they were driven back by government forces and on 11 March, government troops reconquered most of Ra's Lanuf.
The Second Battle of Brega was a battle during the Libyan Civil War. More than 10 days earlier, anti-Gaddafi forces beat back an attempt by loyalist forces to take the town on 2 March 2011, in the First Battle of Brega. Following that battle, rebel forces advanced along the Libyan Coastal Highway, taking the towns of Ra's Lanuf and Bin Jawad. However, after the Battle of Bin Jawad and the Battle of Ra's Lanuf, government troops retook all of the territory lost and were once again threatening Brega by mid-March.
The Free Libyan Air Force was the air force of the National Transitional Council, a collection of defected Loyalist Military personnel and captured aircraft that aligned themselves with the anti-Gaddafi forces in the Libyan Civil War.
The Third Battle of Brega was a battle during the Libyan Civil War between government forces and anti-Gaddafi forces for control of the town of Brega and its surroundings.
The First Gulf of Sidra offensive was the second major rebel offensive of the Libyan Civil War. It was mounted by anti-Gaddafi forces immediately after their victory in the Battle of Ajdabiya. The offensive was meant to have the rebel forces quickly reach Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte.
The Battle of Bin Jawad was a battle in the Libyan Civil War between forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and anti-Gaddafi forces for control of the town of Bin Jawad.
The 2011 Nafusa Mountain Campaign was a series of battles in the Libyan Civil War, fought between loyalist pro-Gaddafi forces and rebel anti-Gaddafi forces in the Nafusa Mountains and, at a later period, in the surrounding plains of western Libya. The mountain range is of strategic importance due to its close proximity to the capital of Tripoli. Along with the city of Misrata, the Nafusa Mountains region was one of the major rebel strongholds in Tripolitania.
The Battle of Brega–Ajdabiya road was a battle during the Libyan Civil War between forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and anti-Gaddafi forces for control of the towns of Brega and Ajdabiya respectively and the Libyan Coastal Highway between them.
The Battle of Ajdabiya was an armed battle in and near the city of Ajdabiya that took place as part of the Libyan Civil War. It was fought between anti-government rebels and military forces loyal to the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Following the Second Battle of Brega, in which pro-Gaddafi forces captured the town, Ajdabiya was the only major rebel-held city left en route to the rebel capital of Benghazi. The battle for Ajdabiya had been cited as a potential turning point in the conflict on which the fate of the whole rebellion against the Gaddafi government may be decided. On 26 March 2011, Libyan rebels, backed by extensive allied air raids, seized control of the frontline oil town of Ajdabiya from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's forces. During the first phase of the battle, pro-Gaddafi forces seized the strategic road junction leading to Benghazi and Tobruk, and captured most of the city. The city centre remained in rebel hands, but was surrounded by pro-government forces and cut off from outside assistance. After the second phase, anti-Gaddafi forces recaptured the road junction and cleared loyalist forces from the city, sending them retreating down the Libyan Coastal Highway towards Sirte.
The Battle of the Misrata frontline was a battle during the Libyan Civil War between pro-Gaddafi loyalists and anti-Gaddafi forces on the western and southwestern outskirts of Misrata, the third largest city in Libya. It ended when anti-Gaddafi soldiers secured Zliten to the west and Tawergha to the south, establishing a significant buffer zone around the city.
The timeline of the Libyan Civil War begins on 15 February 2011 and ends on 20 October 2011. It begins with a series of peaceful protests, similar to others of the Arab Spring, later becoming a full-scale civil war between the forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi's government and the anti-Gaddafi forces. The conflict can roughly be divided into two periods before and after external military intervention authorized by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973.
The Fezzan campaign was a military campaign conducted by the National Liberation Army to take control of southwestern Libya during the Libyan Civil War. During April to June 2011, anti-Gaddafi forces gained control of most of the eastern part of the southern desert region during the Cyrenaican desert campaign. In July, Qatrun changed to anti-Gaddafi control on 17 July and back to pro-Gaddafi control on 23 July. In late August, anti- and pro-Gaddafi forces struggled for control of Sabha.
The Battle of Tripoli was a military confrontation in Tripoli, Libya, between loyalists of Muammar Gaddafi, the longtime leader of Libya, and the National Transitional Council, which was attempting to overthrow Gaddafi and take control of the capital. The battle began on 20 August 2011, six months after the Libyan Civil War started, with an uprising within the city; rebel forces outside the city planned an offensive to link up with elements within Tripoli, and eventually take control of the nation's capital.
The Libyan Civil War began on 15 February 2011 as a civil protest and later evolved into a widespread uprising. However, by 19 March, Libyan forces under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi were on the brink of a decisive victory over rebels in Libya's east. That day, leading NATO members acted on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 which authorized member states "to take all necessary measures... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding an occupation force".
The Battle of Sirte was the final battle of the Libyan Civil War, beginning when the National Liberation Army attacked the last remnants of the Libyan army still loyal to Muammar Gaddafi in his hometown and designated capital of Sirte, on the Gulf of Sidra. As of September 2011, Sirte and Bani Walid were the last strongholds of Gaddafi loyalists and the NTC hoped that the fall of Sirte would bring the war to an end. The battle and its aftermath marked the final collapse of the four-decade Gaddafi regime. Both Gaddafi and his son, Mutassim, were wounded and captured, and tortured and killed in custody less than an hour later. The month-long battle left Sirte almost completely in ruins, with many buildings damaged or totally destroyed.