- 2.1Ancient Libya:
- 2.2Achaemenid Libya:
- 2.1Islamic Libya:
- 2.2Ottoman Tripolitania (1551–1911):
- 2.1Italian Colonization (1911–1943):
- 2.1Independence, Kingdom of Libya and Libya under the direction of Gaddafi (1951–2011):
- 2.1First Libyan Civil War:
- 2.1Post-Gaddafi Era and the Second Libyan Civil War:
- 6Flag of Libya:
Pro-Gaddaffi forces were able to respond militarily to rebel pushes in Western Libya and launched a counterattack along the coast toward Benghazi, the de facto centre of the uprising. The town of Zawiya, 48 kilometers (30 mi) from Tripoli, was bombarded by air force planes and army tanks and seized by Jamahiriya troops, “exercising a level of brutality not yet seen in the conflict.”
Organizations of the United Nations, including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Human Rights Council, condemned the crackdown as violating international law, with the latter body expelling Libya outright in an unprecedented action.
On 17 March 2011 the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973, with a 10–0 vote and five abstentions including Russia, China, India, Brazil and Germany. The resolution sanctioned the establishment of a no-fly zone and the use of “all means necessary” to protect civilians within Libya. On 19 March, the first act of NATO allies to secure the no-fly zone began by destroying Libyan air defenses when French military jets entered Libyan airspace on a reconnaissance mission heralding attacks on enemy targets.
In the weeks that followed, American forces were in the forefront of NATO operations against Libya. More than 8,000 American personnel in warships and aircraft were deployed in the area. At least 3,000 targets were struck in 14,202 strike sorties, 716 of them in Tripoli and 492 in Brega. The American air offensive included flights of B-2 Stealth bombers, each bomber armed with sixteen 2000-pound bombs, flying out of and returning to their base in Missouri in the continental United States. The support provided by the NATO air forces contributed to the ultimate success of the revolution.
By 22 August 2011, rebel fighters had entered Tripoli and occupied Green Square, which they renamed Martyrs’ Square in honor of those killed since 17 February 2011. On 20 October 2011, the last heavy fighting of the uprising came to an end in the city of Sirte. The Battle of Sirte was both the last decisive battle and the last one in general of the First Libyan Civil War where Gaddafi was captured and killed. The defeat of loyalist forces was celebrated on 23 October 2011, three days after the fall of Sirte.
At least 30,000 Libyans died in the civil war. In addition, the National Transitional Council estimated 50,000 wounded.
Post-Gaddafi Era and the Second Libyan Civil War:
Since the defeat of loyalist forces, Libya has been torn among numerous rival, armed militias affiliated with distinct regions, cities and tribes, while the central government has been weak and unable effectively to exert its authority over the country. Competing militias have pitted themselves against each other in a political struggle between Islamist politicians and their opponents. On 7 July 2012, Libyans held their first parliamentary elections since the end of the former regime. On 8 August 2012, the National Transitional Council officially handed power over to the wholly elected General National Congress, which was then tasked with the formation of an interim government and the drafting of a new Libyan Constitution to be approved in a general referendum.