Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Anti-Aircraft Fire over Tripoli


Photo by Christopher Morris
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March 12 - The Arab League calls for a U.N. no-fly zone over Libya. A meeting in Cairo decides that "serious crimes and great violations" committed by the Gaddafi government against his people have stripped it of legitimacy.

March 16 - Forces loyal to Gaddafi are near rebel-held Benghazi and "everything will be over in 48 hours," Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam tells France-based TV channel Euronews.

March 17 - The U.N. Security Council votes to authorize a no-fly zone over Libya and "all necessary measures" -- code for military action -- to protect civilians against Gaddafi's forces.

March 19 - The first air strikes halt the advance of Gaddafi's forces on Benghazi and target Libya's air defenses.

-- Gaddafi says there is no justification for a U.N. resolution aimed at ending violence in Libya and calls it "blatant colonialism," al Jazeera reports.

March 20 - Libya declares a fresh ceasefire contradicting a defiant speech by Gaddafi earlier in the day in which he said he is giving out weapons to his people.

March 21 - Western forces launch a second wave of air strikes on Libya overnight and officials in Tripoli say a missile intended to kill Gaddafi destroys a building in his fortified compound.

-- A Libyan government health official says 64 people are killed by Western bombardments, but it is impossible to verify the report independently.

March 22 - Western warplanes fly more than 300 sorties over Libya and fired more than 162 Tomahawk cruise missiles in the mission to protect Libyan civilians.

-- "We will not surrender," Gaddafi tells supporters forming a human shield to protect him at his Tripoli compound. "This assault ... is by a bunch of fascists who will end up in the dustbin of history," Gaddafi says in his first public appearance since the air strikes began.

-- Admiral Samuel Locklear, head of U.S. forces enforcing the no-fly zone, says Gaddafi and his forces have not complied with the U.N. resolution demanding an end to attacks on civilians.

March 23 - Government forces continue to shell the rebel-held town of Misrata, killing dozens. They also are attacking the town of Zintan near the Tunisian border.

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