Libya timeline: 3 months of conflict

2011-05-16 08:31

Tripoli - Key events in the Libya crisis:

- February 15-19: Protests against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in the eastern city of Benghazi and nearby Al-Baida are put down forcefully, but the movement spreads and turns into an insurrection.

- February 23-25: Rebels gain control of the area from the Egyptian border to Ajdabiya, as the UN estimates 1 000 lives were lost since the revolt began.

- February 28: The EU follows the US and the UN in applying sanctions to Gaddafi’s regime.

- March 10: France recognises the rebel leadership diplomatically.

- March 19: French, US and British forces, under a UN mandate, launch air strikes on Gaddafi forces, who retreat from the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

- March 26-28: Benefiting from Western air strikes, rebels advance westwards, taking several key towns.

- March 30: Gaddafi’s forces push back. Libyan foreign minister Musa Kusa defects to Britain.

- March 31: Nato takes command of the coalition campaign.

- April 1: In a "friendly fire" incident, Nato attacks kill nine rebels and four civilians.

- April 10-11: An African Union delegation meets Gaddafi and the rebels. The former accepts their peace plan, but the latter reject it.

- April 20: France, Italy and Britain send military advisers to assist the rebel shadow government in Benghazi.

- April 23: The United States says it has launched its first strike using an unmanned military aircraft.

- April 24: Rebels make gains in Misrata, where at least 55 are killed in 48 hours.

- April 25: A Nato air strike wrecks Gaddafi’s office in his Tripoli residence.

- April 27: Rebels backed by Nato air strikes say they secured the port of Misrata.

Nato allies agree to establish a civilian post in Benghazi.

- April 28: Blasts rock Tripoli.

- April 29: Rebels and Gaddafi’s forces battle for Misrata airport.

- April 30: A Nato air strike kills Gaddafi’s youngest son, Seif al-Arab, and three of his grandchildren.

Gaddafi vows not to quit but calls for talks to end the conflict. Nato and rebels decline.

- May 01: The Italian and British embassies attacked in Tripoli. Britain expels the Libyan ambassador. The UN pulls its staff out of Tripoli.

- May 04: The ICC's chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo says he will seek three arrest warrants for crimes against humanity in Libya.

- May 05: International powers open a fund to aid Libya's rebels.

- May 11: Rebels take Misrata airport and push Gaddafi troops west, breaking the siege of the city as the EU says it will open an office in Benghazi.

- May 12: British PM David Cameron invites the rebels to open a permanent office in London.

- May 13: Tripoli says 11 imams were killed by a Nato bomb and that it will not try to reclaim rebel-held eastern cities.

- May 14: Explosions rock Tripoli and the US declines to formally recognise the rebel leadership.