Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Arab Women at Yarmuk - A Battle that Changed the World

Moment of Battle – The Twenty Clashes that Changed the World, by James Lacey and Williamson Murray (Random House, 2013) p. 112-115

Yarmuk – The Islamic Conquest Beings 636

“In 629, the Prophet Muhammad, taking advantage of a truce between himself and his mortal enemies, the Quraysh tribe, took time to send a series of ultimatums to the kings of Persia, Yeman, and Ethiopia and the Byzantine emperor Heracles:

‘Peace be upon him, he who follows the right path. Furthermore I invite thee to Islam; become a Muslim and thou shalt be safe, and God will double thy reward, and thou reject this invitation, thou shalt bear the sins of persecuting Arians.’

The Battle of Yarmuk began on August 15, 636

“Believing his men would be reluctant to abandon their wives and children to Byzantine mercy, he ordered them to pitch camp directly behind the Arab battle formation. As the women arrayed themselves, Abu Ubaidah visited the various camps, giving instructions to the women: ‘Take tent poles in your hands and gather heaps of stones. If we win all is well. But if you see a Muslim running away from battle, strike him in the face with a tent pole, pelt him with stones…’ The women prepared accordingly.”

“…On the third Slavic charge, the Arab line broke. An Arab cavalry charge slowed the Byzantine pursuit just long enough to give the retreating Arabs time to reach their camp. Here they encountered something more fearsome than the Slavs – their own wives….the women screamed curses in an attempt to shame the fleeing Arab force. When this failed to stem the Arab flight, the women assaulted them, as they had been instructed, with stones and tent poles. ‘This was more than the proud warriors could take. Indignant at their treatment, they turned back from the camp and advanced in blazing anger.”

“It is one of the quirks of history that the Muslim invasions struck at what may have been the only time they had the slightest chance of success….It is one of the great what-ifs of history to ask what would have become of the Islamic faith if the Byzantines had won at Yarmuk. At the very least, they would have repelled the Islamic tide early, and the Arab-Islamic civilization that now dominates from the Bosporus to the Strait of Gibraltar would not exist. The entire Mediterranean would have remained culturally Greco-Roman and Christian, and if it survived at all, Islam itself would arguably have been relegated to the deserts of Arabia.” 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Libyan Golf Report

Saudi Gazette
A Perpetual Rough of Libyan Golf
November 1, 2013
  • Course is mostly empty save workers, scavenging dog
  • Gunfire can break concentration, lower score
  • Ousted leader Qaddafi discouraged golf

Marie-Louise Gumuchian

TRIPOLI — Among the rubbish-strewn bushes and occasional bullet shells on the rocky ground, nine flimsy flags flapping in the breeze mark the holes of a golf course along Tripoli’s Mediterranean coast.

The occasional volley of automatic rifle fire in the distance is yet another of the unique “hazards”, and a reminder of the chaos that still reigns in many parts of Libya.

The course is mostly empty except for a few workers building what one day may become a clubhouse and a dog sniffing discarded water bottles, fish bones and trash peppering the fairway.

This is not the lush greenery of Augusta or St. Andrews but for Libya’s golf fans the small course in the capital’s upmarket Gargaresh area is one of a handful where they can get a game.

Libya, a desert state apart from its coastal north, has no grass courses, just sand ones where the distinction between fairway and rough is extremely tenuous.

A wilderness of rocks, bushes and rubbish — and now empty bullet shells following the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Qaddafi — the course could be described as one perpetual rough.

“The first time I played after the revolution, you looked for your ball among pieces of metal, scrap, bullet cases,” said David Bachmann, former commercial counselor at the Austrian Embassy in Tripoli.

“It was all kinds of weird things you would not normally expect in the rough of a golf course.”

Drives streak across arrow-straight fairways from tees that consist of brick platforms covered with damp sand. Occasional wooden markers make it just possible to discern the boundaries between holes.

Given the lack of grass, players carry a small stretch of artificial turf on which they place their ball to take a shot.

The green itself is more like a “brown” — a patch of flattened damp sand that needs to be smoothed out after putting — with a cup for a hole.

Sometimes gunfire rattles in the distance as fighting rages between armed groups.

“One morning, myself and a friend from the United Nations made it to the course in the quiet period after the previous night’s shooting subsided and before it restarted,” a Western diplomat formerly based in Tripoli said.
“I double-bogeyed the last hole with renewed gunfire interrupting my concentration.”

Dodging Chickens and Camels

While based in Tripoli this year, I played golf twice — once at Gargaresh, where I had to borrow my male playing partner’s clubs because there was nowhere I could rent them from.

Taking my second shot by the sea, I was horrified when my ball hit a stone on the fairway and came flying back at us.

At Mudi golf course, a nine-hole par 36 some 50 kms (31 miles) west of Tripoli, a caddie was on hand to guide us.

Owner Abdullah Mudi said the course, boasting a driving range and clubhouse, had been built on farmland.

As I practiced, I waited as chickens passed the driving range before taking a shot. I later lost my ball on a hole which overlooked an orchard and got distracted by camels in a nearby pen.

Before the war, Mudi also had cows and ostriches but scarce resources during the fighting made it difficult to keep them. He says Qaddafi was not a fan of the sport and it was neglected.

“Qaddafi did not like golf and he didn’t support the game,” he said. “I sent my son to the Junior Open in 2008 to show the world Libya likes this game.”

The Libyan Golf Federation, registered with the International Golf Federation, counts some 300 members in a country of more than six million people. Mudi said Libyan golfers usually compete in regional competitions.

“We don’t get good positions — sometimes fourth place, fifth place — never first place,” he said.

“I don’t know if the government will support us. We’ve been saying we need a grass golf course to improve the game in Libya but nobody listens. There are many problems in the country.”

Those are mainly security woes as the Tripoli authorities struggle to impose order on a country awash with weapons. Before the war, Bachmann said expatriates drove to Djerba in neighboring Tunisia to play on grass courses. Now, with their movements restricted and the border often shut, that is not so easy, although still very few play in Tripoli.

“The coastal geography is breathtaking and one could easily envision many courses in the future,” the diplomat said. “For now it’s for die-hards only who desperately need a golf fix.” — Reuters


Monday, October 7, 2013

Backlash Against USA Expected

Libya demands explanation from US over 'kidnapping'

A suspected Libyan al Qaida figure captured by US special forces in a dramatic operation in Tripoli was living freely in his homeland for the past two years, after a trajectory that took him to Sudan, Afghanistan and Iran, where he had been detained for years, his family has said.

The Libyan government bristled at the raid, asking Washington to explain the “kidnapping”. 

The swift Delta Force operation in the streets of the Libyan capital that seized the militant known as Abu Anas al-Libi was one of two assaults Saturday that showed an American determination to move directly against terror suspects - even in two nations mired in chaos where the US has suffered deadly humiliations in the past.

Hours before the Libya raid, a Navy Seal team swam ashore in the East African nation of Somalia and engaged in a fierce firefight, though it did not capture its target, a leading militant in the al Qaida-linked group that carried out the recent Kenyan mall siege.

“We hope that this makes clear that the United States of America will never stop in the effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror,” US secretary of state John Kerry said today at an economic summit in Indonesia. “Members of al Qaida and other terrorist organisations literally can run but they can’t hide.”

Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, known by his alias Abu Anas al-Libi, is accused by the US of involvement in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, which killed more than 220 people. He has been on the FBI’s most wanted terrorists list since it was introduced shortly after the September 11 2001 attack, with a five million US dollar (£3.1 million) bounty on his head.

US officials depicted his capture as a significant blow against al Qaida, which has lost a string of key figures, including leader Osama bin Laden, killed in a 2011 raid in Pakistan.

But it was unclear whether the 49-year-old al-Libi had a major role in the terror organisation – his alleged role in the 1998 attack was to scout one of the targeted embassies – and there was no immediate word that he had been involved in militant activities in Libya. His family and former associates denied he was ever a member of al Qaida and said he had not been engaged in any activities since coming home in 2011.

But the raid signalled a US readiness to take action against militants in Libya, where al Qaida and other armed Islamic groups have gained an increasingly powerful foothold since the 2011 ouster and killing of dictator Muammar Gaddafi and have set up tied with a belt of radical groups across North Africa and Egypt.

Libya’s central government remains weak, and armed militias – many of them made up of Islamic militants – hold sway in many places around the country, including in parts of the capital. Amid the turmoil, Libyan authorities have been unable to move against militants, including those behind the September 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, in which the US ambassador and three other Americans were killed. Libyan security officials themselves are regularly targeted by gunmen. The latest victim, a military colonel, was gunned down in Benghazi today.

Several dozen members of the Islamic group Ansar al-Sharia, which has links to militias, today protested in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, denouncing al-Libi’s abduction and criticising the government. “Where are the men of Tripoli while this is happening?” they chanted, waving black Islamist flags.

Al-Libi’s capture was a bold strike in the Libyan capital. He had just parked his car outside his Tripoli home, returning from dawn prayers yesterday, when 10 commandos in multiple vehicles surrounded him, his brother Nabih al-Ruqai told the Associated Press. They smashed his car’s window and seized his gun before grabbing al-Libi and fleeing.

He was swiftly spirited out of the country. US Defence Department spokesman George Little said he was being held “in a secure location outside of Libya”. He did not elaborate further.

In a statement, the Libyan government said it asked the US for “clarifications” about what it called the “kidnapping”, underlining that its citizens should be tried in Libyan courts if accused of a crime. It said it hoped its “strategic partnership” with Washington would not be damaged by the incident.

Still, the relatively soft-toned statement underlined the predicament of the Libyan government. It is criticised by opponents at home over its ties with Washington, but it is also reliant on security co-operation with the Americans.

According to the federal indictment of al-Libi in a New York court, American prosecutors say he helped the African embassy bombings by scouting and photographing the embassy in Nairobi in 1993. Al-Libi was a computer expert who studied electronic and nuclear engineering at Tripoli University.

Al-Libi’s son Abdullah al-Ruqai told The Associated Press his father was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an Islamic militant group that waged a campaign of violence against Gaddafi’s regime in the 1990s. Many of the group’s members, including al-Libi, were forced to flee the country at the time. A faction of the group allied with al Qaida, although others in the group refused to.

Al-Libi is believed to have spent time in Sudan in the 1990s, when bin Laden was based there. In 1995, al-Libi later turned up in Britain, where he was granted political asylum under unclear circumstances and lived in Manchester. He was arrested by Scotland Yard in 1999, but released because of lack of evidence and later fled Britain.

His son said the family then went to Afghanistan, where they spent a year and a half until they fled into Iran, where they were held in custody for seven years. He did not elaborate, but Iran jailed a number of al Qaida-linked figures who fled Afghanistan after the 2001 US-led invasion of that country.

The family returned to Tripoli in 2010 under a rehabilitation program for Islamic militants run by Gaddafi’s son, and al-Libi himself returned in August 2011, amid the uprising that toppled Gaddafi. Since then, al-Libi was not involved with any groups.

“He would go from the house to the mosque, and from the mosque to the house,” Al Libi’s son said, adding his father had hired a lawyer and was trying to clear his name in connection to the 1998 embassy attacks.

In the earlier raid Saturday, the Navy Seal team targeted a figure from the al Qaida-linked terrorist group al-Shabab. After landing on shore, the team targeted a beachside house in the town of Barawe. The team ran into fiercer resistance than expected, and after a 15 minutes to 20 minute firefight in which they inflicted some casualties on the fighters, the unit’s leader decided to abort the mission and the Americans swam away, US officials said. 

The assault was carried out by members of Seal Team Six, the same unit that killed Bin Laden in his Pakistan hideout in 2011, one senior US military official said.

Mr Little confirmed that US military personnel were involved in a counter-terrorism operation against a known al-Shabab terrorist in Somalia, but did not provide details.

The leader of al-Shabab, Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, also known as Ahmed Godane, claimed responsibility for the mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, a four-day terrorist siege that began September 21 and killed at least 67 people. A Somali intelligence official said the al-Shabab leader was the US target.

The raid in Somalia came 20 years after the Black Hawk Down battle in Mogadishu, when a mission to capture Somali warlords in the capital went awry after militiamen shot down two US helicopters. Eighteen US soldiers died in the battle, which marked the beginning of the end of that US military mission to try to bring stability to the nation.

Since then, US military intervention has been limited to missile attacks and lightning operations by special forces.
Nabbing of Libyan militant sparks fear of backlash
The Associated Press

Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 | 2:46 p.m.
The Libyan militant accused by Washington in the killing of the U.S. ambassador told The Associated Press on Monday he's not worried about being next on the list for capture by the Americans after the U.S. commando raid that spirited a senior al-Qaida suspect out of Tripoli.
Ahmed Abu Khattala's confidence reflects the power that Islamic militants have grown to wield in Libya since the 2011 ouster of longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi. Militia groups, some of them inspired by al-Qaida, operated with virtual impunity in the country, with the central government too weak to take action against them.
Now many of the groups are furious over Saturday's U.S. special forces raid that captured Abu Anas al-Libi, wanted by the Americans for more than a decade over the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa. Some have hinted at retaliation at U.S. and other foreign interests and have lashed out at the government, accusing it of colluding with Washington.
"We only fear God," Abu Khattala told AP by telephone from Benghazi, when asked if he is concerned he too could be snatched. Abu Khattala lives openly in the city, despite the indictment against him in a U.S. court over the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed the ambassador and three other Americans. He denies any role in the attack.
One prominent ultraconservative Muslim cleric, Sheik Ahmed bu-Sidra, warned that "all options are on the table" after the seizing of al-Libi, who was spirited out of the country and is now being held on a U.S. warship, according to American officials.
Moderates will be unable to silence possible retaliation by "insane Libyans who think death is a way to get close to God," bu-Sidra said.
For more than two years, Libya has been held hostage to increasingly powerful militias. Initially they were formed out of rebel brigades that fought Gadhafi's forces in 2011 uprising. The government has relied on them to carry out security duties because of the weakness of the army, but they have carved out spheres of power of their own, and many are made up of Islamic extremists.
No week passes without assassinations and abductions of top security officials and army officers, especially in Benghazi, the country's second largest city. In a particularly humiliating show of state weakness, the son of defense minister was kidnapped on Sept. 24.
"This is a crime against the state, aimed at preventing the minister from pushing ahead with his plan to put all the armed groups" under military control, the head of the defense committee in the legislature, Bel-Qassem Derizib said.
After al-Libi's capture, the Libyan government said in a statement that it knew nothing about the raid and had asked the Americans for "clarifications" about the operation. Prime Minister Ali Zidan left the country Sunday for a three-day visit to Morocco.
The operation _ which came on the same day that U.S. Navy Seals attempted to capture an al-Qaida-linked militant in Somalia _ signaled an American readiness to go after militants in nations where authorities are unable to do so.
That has raised expectations in Libya that further raids could follow, and many militants are convinced the Libyan government is colluding with the Americans.
"If the U.S. administration is cooperating with the (Libyan) government, then we hold the government responsible," Abu Khattala said. "If they did it without Libyan government's knowledge, then this is violation of the sovereignty of the Libyan state, which we reject."
"We don't want them here if they act against us," he said, referring to foreigners in Libya. "If you are a guest, then act respectfully, otherwise your presence is not welcome."
Abu Khattala was the commander of an Islamist militia group called the Abu Obaida bin Jarrah Brigade. However, he said he abandoned the militia and now works as a construction contractor. In earlier interview, Abu Khattala told the AP that he was not in hiding and had not been questioned by Libyan authorities over the consulate attack.
"I am in my city, having a normal life and have no troubles," he said.
Officials in the U.S. have said he and an unspecified number of others were named in a sealed complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington. It's unclear what charges he and the others face.
A previously unknown coalition of Islamic militants in three eastern Libyan cities _ Benghazi, al-Bayda and Darna _ issued a statement Monday vowing to avenge al-Libi's capture _ and blaming the government. It called the abduction a "shameful act which will cost the Libyan government a lot."
Several dozen members of the Ansar al-Shariah _ al-Qaida inspired group blamed earlier for playing a role in the attack on US consulate protested on Sunday in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, denouncing al-Libi's abduction and criticizing the government. "Where are the men of Tripoli while this is happening?" they chanted, waving black Islamist flags.
A former militant with the Ansar al-Shariah militant group said the raid "just opened the doors of hell and it will be like the U.S. operation in Somalia. The youth here are ready to fight," he said.
He said that counterattacks will be unavoidable, including kidnappings. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of fears for his security.
An Islamist in Tripoli close to the former Libyan Islamic Fighting Group warned that extremists could kidnap or attack Americans here. The LIFG was a longtime opponent of Gadhafi whose members fled the country with some defecting to join al-Qaida. Some members now hold positions of authority in the country.
He too spoke on condition of anonymity, for fear of repercussions from militants.

"There is real fear of the reaction targeting foreigners, who are innocents and who have nothing to do with what the United States did here. Such as businessmen or companies," he said, "this will hurt Libya's economy at a time we are searching for stability and normalcy."

Monday, September 23, 2013

CNN Libyan Timeline

(CNN) -- Here's a look at what you need to know about the Libyan Civil War of 2011.

BK:: Wait, I thought it was a revolution?


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.

February 20, 2011 - Moammar Gadhafi's son, Saif, appears on television and states that his father will fight until the "last bullet."

February 20, 2011 - Demonstrations spread to the capital, Tripoli, where protestors clash with forces loyal to Gadhafi.

February 20, 2011 - Libya's Arab League representative, Abdel-Moneim al-Houni, resigns.

February 21, 2011 - Justice Minister Mustafa Mohamed Abud al Jeleil resigns.

February 21, 2011 - Chief of State of Protocol Nuri al Mismari, a Gadhafi aide for almost 40 years, resigns.

February 21, 2011 - Ambassador to India Ali al-Essawi resigns in protest.

February 21, 2011 - Ambassador to the U.S. Ali Adjali resigns and states that he is no longer representing the government of Gadhafi.

February 21, 2011 - 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.

February 21, 2011 - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon holds talks with Gadhafi and demands that the conflict end immediately.

February 22, 2011 - During an address, Gadhafi states he would rather die a martyr than give up power.

February 22, 2011 - Former Ambassador to India Ali al-Essawi claims that Libyan military aircraft are being used to attack civilians.

February 22, 2011 - Interior Minister Abdel Fattah Younes al Abidi resigns and throws his support behind the opposition.

February 22, 2011 - 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.

February 25, 2011 - Libyan Ambassador to the U.N. Abdurrahman Shalgham denounces Gadhafi in a speech, "I tell my brother Gadhafi: leave the Libyans alone."

February 25, 2011 - The U.S. completes an evacuation of Americans in Libya and announces it is closing its embassy.

February 25, 2011 - 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.

February 26, 2011 - 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.

February 28, 2001 - In an interview with Christiane Amanpour, Gadhafi states that his countrymen love him and would die to protect him.

February 28, 2011 - The prime minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al Thani calls on Gadhafi to resign.

March 1, 2011 - The U.N. General Assembly suspends Libya's seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council.

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.

March 10, 2011 - NATO defense ministers meet in Brussels to discuss establishing a no-fly zone over Libya.

March 10, 2011 - Speaking before the House Appropriations Committee, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says 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.

March 15, 2011 - 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 16, 2011 - The New York Times reports that four of its journalists are missing in Libya.

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.

March 19, 2011 - 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."

March 20, 2011 - Missile strikes target a suspected command and control building at Gadhafi's Bab el-Azizia compound on the outskirts of Tripoli.

March 21, 2011 - Four U.S. journalists with the New York Times are released by their captors.

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 - U.S. President Barack Obama address the American public on the situation in Libya and says, "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.

March 29, 2011 - U.S. 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 - Italian 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.

April 6, 2011 - In a letter to President Obama, Libyan leader Moammar 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.

April 20, 2011 - 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 - Moammar Gadhafi speaks on state TV and says he is ready to negotiate a ceasefire but that he will not step down.

April 30, 2011 - 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 1, 2011 - Great Britain expels Libyan ambassador Omar Jelban.

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.

May 6, 2011 - 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.

May 11, 2011 - Opposition forces seize control of the airport in Misrata.

May 11, 2011 - 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 - Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi releases a brief audio message saying he's in a place where he cannot be found or killed.

May 13, 2011 - Mahmoud Jibril, the interim prime minister of council, meets in Washington with Secretary of State Hillary 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. They are: 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.

June 1, 2011 - 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.

June 1, 2011 - 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 - Libyan leader Moammar 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.

June 8, 2011 - 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.

June 9, 2011 - Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade appeals to Gadhafi to step down.

June 9, 2011 - 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.

June 14, 2011 - Liberia severs diplomatic ties to Libya.

June 14, 2011 - 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.

June 15, 2011 - 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.

June 16, 2011 - 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 - Moammar 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.

June 17, 2011 - 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.

June 21, 2011 - Opposition leader Mahmoud Jibril meets with Chinese officials in Beijing.

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," a El-Gamaty said.

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. Moammar 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 Moammar Gadhafi's wife Safia, daughter Aisha, sons Hannibal and Mohammed and a number of grandchildren are in Algeria.

August 29, 2011 - Mahdi al-Harati, the vice chairman of the rebel's Military Council, tells CNN that Moammar 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.

August 31, 2011 - Moammar Gaddafi's foreign minister Abdel Ati al-Obeidi is arrested by the rebel forces.

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

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

September 1, 2011 - Russia recognizes the National Transitional Council as Libya's official government.

September 1, 2011 - Sixty countries meet in Paris to discuss Libya's transition from Gadhafi's rule to democracy.

September 1, 2011 - A British RAF C-17 transport plane delivers 280 million dinars (approximately $226,502,853 US) to the Central Bank of Libya.

September 12, 2011 - 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.

September 16, 2011 - The U.N. General Assembly announces that the National Transitional Council will represent Libya during the annual General Assembly later in September.

September 16, 2011 - 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.

September 20, 2011 - 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 aCongressional 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.

October 20, 2011 - 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 electsAbdurrahim El-Keib as acting prime minister, with the support of 26 of the 51 members who voted.

October 31, 2011 - NATO secretary general announces the official end of the NATO mission in Libya.

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

September 21, 2013 – Saif al-Islam Gadhafi goes to trial.