The 2011 war in Libya

The WSWS and the exposure of US imperialism’s crimes

By Bill Van Auken, 30 October 2020

The WSWS has worked tirelessly to expose the crimes of US imperialism, which have killed and maimed millions and destroyed entire societies.

Inquiry hears that Manchester Arena bomber was on radar of UK intelligence for seven years

By Margot Miller, 7 October 2020

The inquiry heard from MI5 that bomber Abedi came to their attention 18 times before he perpetrated his horrific crime.

Libyan civil war intensifies amid growing international negotiations

By Hasan Yıldırım, 12 June 2020

The domestic and international parties of the civil war in Libya have recently intensified talks as Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli advanced on the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar.

Civilian casualties mount as foreign powers continue to fuel Libya’s civil war

By Alberto Escalera, 20 May 2020

Libya’s civil war is fueled by a complex interplay between the competing interests of international energy monopolies and local power struggles to control oil and gas revenues.

Libya autonomy declaration poses threat of civil war

By Bill Van Auken, 8 March 2012

Following a declaration of autonomy by tribal and militia leaders in oil-rich eastern Libya, the head of the National Transitional Council threatened the use of force to prevent the country’s partition.

Amnesty International details torture and murder in Libya

By Patrick Martin, 17 February 2012

A new report documents gruesome violations of human rights under the new regime established by the US-NATO war.

Ongoing atrocities by NATO-installed Libyan regime

By Will Morrow, 11 February 2012

The war crimes and abuses being perpetrated by the TNC regime further expose the claims that the NATO allies intervened for humanitarian purposes to rescue the Libyan people from violent repression.

Former Gaddafi official tortured to death in Libya

By Patrick Martin, 4 February 2012

The murder of Omar Brebesh follows a series of reports by human rights groups on torture in the prisons of the new “democratic” Libya.

Torture in Libya: The ugly reality of imperialist “liberation”

By Bill Van Auken, 1 February 2012

The multiple reports of torture in the detention centers run by the new imperialist-backed Libyan regime and NATO’s “rebels” give the lie to all those who justified last year’s war in the name of human rights and “liberation.”

US-NATO war crimes in Libya

By Barry Grey, 23 January 2012

A report released last week by Middle East human rights groups presents extensive evidence of war crimes carried out in Libya by the United States, NATO and their proxy “rebel” forces.

Human rights groups charge NATO with war crimes in Libya

By Bill Van Auken, 21 January 2012

There is strong evidence that NATO carried out war crimes in its eight-month war for regime-change in Libya, according to a report released Thursday by Middle East human rights groups.

Libya: TNC releases anti-democratic draft electoral laws

By Will Morrow, 13 January 2012

The NATO-installed regime’s legislation features provisions preventing people nominating themselves as candidates.

Former Tripoli Brigade leader Mahdi al-Harati outed as US asset

By Steve James, 3 December 2011

An article in Ireland’s Sunday World has drawn attention to relations between Mahdi al-Harati, former leader of the Tripoli Brigade of the National Transition Council, which played a central role in the NATO assault on Libya, and an unnamed US intelligence agency.

Former Libyan PM exposes US-NATO machinations

By Oliver Campbell, 24 November 2011

Jibril’s remarks confirm that far from being a humanitarian mission to “save the Libyan people,” the war to oust Muammar Gaddafi was aimed at seizing control of the country’s oil wealth

Gaddafi’s son captured in Libya

By Patrick O’Connor, 22 November 2011

The capture of Saif al Islam has raised the spectre of a drawn-out criminal trial in The Hague, with embarrassing details emerging of the intimate ties between the Gaddafi regime and Western powers.

New Libyan prime minister installed by NATO-backed regime

By Peter Symonds, 3 November 2011

The main qualification of the relatively unknown Abdurrahim al-Keib for office is his acceptability to the NATO powers that waged a predatory war to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

NATO declares formal end to criminal war on Libya

By Bill Van Auken, 1 November 2011

NATO formally ended its seven-month predatory war against Libya at midnight Monday, having achieved its aim of regime change and opened up the country to unrestrained exploitation of its huge energy resources by Western oil companies.

Documents reveal how UK backed Gaddafi’s repression

By Robert Stevens, 29 October 2011

Documents found in the abandoned residence of the British ambassador in Tripoli reveal the extent of the British government’s intimate relationships with the former Gaddafi government in Libya.

Mass killings, arbitrary detention under new Libyan regime

By Patrick O’Connor, 25 October 2011

The barbaric conclusion to the NATO military campaign in Libya underscores the fraud of the declared “liberation.”

Professor Cole gloats over Gaddafi’s murder

By Bill Van Auken, 25 October 2011

University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole claims the revolting murder of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi as “vindication” for the imperialist war against Libya that he championed.

Letters on the murder of Gaddafi

25 October 2011

Letters from readers on the killing of Muammar Gaddafi.

The US and Gaddafi: The murderer calls for an investigation of the crime

By Bill Van Auken, 24 October 2011

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton solemnly announced Sunday that Washington “strongly supports” an independent investigation into the barbaric murder of Libya’s deposed head of state Muammar Gaddafi.

The “liberation” of Libya

By Bill Van Auken, 22 October 2011

Libya’s NATO-backed National Transitional Council is set to announce the supposed completion of the country’s “liberation” this weekend following the gruesome lynching of former ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

US and NATO murder Muammar Gaddafi

By Bill Van Auken, 21 October 2011

The savage killing Thursday of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi served to underscore the criminal character of the war that has been prosecuted by the US and NATO over the past eight months.

The destruction of Sirte

By Patrick O’Connor, 19 October 2011

The atrocities now being committed in Sirte arise directly out of the nature and aims of the neo-colonial intervention itself.

Sirte destroyed by NTC-NATO offensive in Libya

By Chris Marsden, 18 October 2011

The Libyan town of Sirte has been all but destroyed and its inhabitants turned into homeless refugees.

Sirte’s fall to usher in mass repression by Libya’s National Transitional Council

By Chris Marsden, 15 October 2011

The National Transitional Council has stated that the fight for control of Sirte is reaching “endgame,” with its forces having seized 80 percent of the city.

NATO and anti-Gaddafi forces in Libya step up bombardment of Sirte

By Patrick O’Connor, 10 October 2011

The crisis in Sirte underscores the grotesque nature of the claims made by the NATO powers and their political cheerleaders that the war on Libya was a “humanitarian” intervention.

Italian government closes refugee camp on Lampedusa

By Marianne Arens, 10 October 2011

The recent closure of the refugee camp on the Italian island of Lampedusa will lead to more deaths added to the list of hundreds who have died trying to escape war-torn Libya.

Costs of UK’s colonial war in Libya spiral

By Joe Mount, 7 October 2011

The neo-colonial intervention into Libya has cost the UK around £1.75 billion so far, seven times the figure originally stated.

Another NATO-backed interim government in Libya

By Will Morrow, 5 October 2011

The new government is composed almost entirely of ministers of the previous government, after the NTC admitted it could not come to a unified decision over who would take control of the key ministries.

NATO assault on Sirte inflicts more Libyan civilian casualties

By Patrick O’Connor, 4 October 2011

Tens of thousands of civilians remain trapped in the area, and are being subjected to indiscriminate rocket, mortar and missile attacks.

The slaughter in Sirte

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 October 2011

In their frenzied drive to crush all resistance in the north African state, NATO and its proxy militia forces are unleashing indiscriminate military force, killing civilians and destroying buildings and infrastructure.

Libya: “the jewel in the crown”

By Bill Van Auken, 30 September 2011

In a recent teleconference with US businessmen, Washington’s ambassador to Libya let slip a telling phrase, referring to the North African nation’s oil reserves as “the jewel in the crown”.

Mass killing and humanitarian disaster in NATO siege of Sirte

By Bill Van Auken, 29 September 2011

Refugees from the Libyan coastal city report that thousands have died as a result of relentless NATO bombardment and shelling by the the Western-backed “rebels.”

US, European corporations rush to secure cut from Libyan war

By Patrick O’Connor, 26 September 2011

From the outset, the NATO intervention was bound up with geo-strategic calculations across North Africa and economic interests in Libya’s oil-rich territory.

NATO powers indifferent to Libyan refugees

By the Bill Van Auken, 21 September 2011

The same NATO countries that waged war on Libya in the name of “protecting civilians” have given “an abysmal response to the plight” of refugees from this conflict.

As Libyan “rebel” offensive stalls, NATO bombs kill hundreds

By Alex Lantier, 19 September 2011

NATO bombed cities across Libya over the weekend as fighting continued in Sirte and Bani Walid.

Britain and France lead the colonial charge into Libya

By Peter Symonds, 17 September 2011

The visit by Cameron and Sarkozy to Libya recalls all the sordid and bloody traditions of imperialism: rank hypocrisy, economic plunder and the ruthless use of force to attain its ends.

Sarkozy and Cameron in Tripoli: Scramble for Libya is on

By Bill Van Auken, 16 September 2011

With their surprise visit to Tripoli Thursday, Sarkozy and Cameron signaled that the scramble by the major powers for control of Libya’s oil wealth is in full swing.

NATO’s client regime in Libya confronts divisions as military offensives stall

By Peter Symonds, 15 September 2011

The fragility of the new regime in Tripoli was underscored by its announcement yesterday that it would remain in Benghazi until after the seizure of the remaining pro-Gaddafi strongholds.

Italy moves to secure its share of the booty in Libya

By Marianne Arens, 14 September 2011

Italian business and political circles take for granted their right to decide on the future of the oil and gas wealth of the country’s former colony, Libya.

Western media accuse China of selling arms to Gaddafi

By John Chan, 12 September 2011

The purpose of the allegations against Beijing is transparent: to justify excluding China from future economic relations with Libya, above all in the oil industry.

NATO-backed Libyan regime persecutes black Africans

By Peter Symonds, 9 September 2011

The racist abuse and killing of black foreigners and Libyans is a devastating refutation of claims by the US and its European allies to be waging a war for democracy and the defence of civilian lives.

Russia officially recognises the National Transitional Council in Libya

By Clara Weiss, 8 September 2011

Following the Russian abstention in the UN resolution sanctioning NATO’s invasion of Libya, Moscow’s recent recognition of the Libyan TNC exposes mounting tensions within the Russian ruling elite.

Libyan humanitarian disaster deepens as NATO, opposition continue offensive

By Alex Lantier, 7 September 2011

Libya’s humanitarian crisis is deepening as NATO-backed forces of the National Transitional Council continue their offensive to crush forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

France’s New Anti-Capitalist Party applauds Libya war

By Kumaran Ira, 6 September 2011

France’s New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) has applauded NATO's war to topple the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, praising it as a victory for democracy.

Libyan opposition lays siege to pro-Gaddafi strongholds

By Peter Symonds, 6 September 2011

The NATO-backed National Transitional Council comprises a shaky alliance of ex-Gaddafi ministers, CIA assets and Islamist militants whose political influence beyond Benghazi in questionable.

Documents expose intimate ties between Libyan torturers and CIA, MI6

By Peter Symonds, 5 September 2011

The British and American intelligence agencies maintained the closest relations with the Gaddafi regime and collaborated in the interrogation and torture of Islamist suspects “rendered” to Libya.

New York Times hails “humanitarian” war in Libya

By Bill Van Auken, 5 September 2011

In back-to-back pieces by its leading columnists, the New York Times proclaims NATO’s war in Libya as a new model for “humanitarian” interventionism.

A new constituency for imperialism

By Peter Schwarz, 3 September 2011

With NATO’s intervention in Libya, the transition of former liberals and pacifists into the imperialist war camp is so widespread that one cannot treat it as an individual phenomenon.

“Friends of Libya” meet in Paris for imperialist carve-up

By Bill Van Auken, 2 September 2011

The “Friends of Libya” conference hosted by French President Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Cameron signaled the beginning of the imperialist carve-up of the oil-rich North African country.

NATO prepares bloodbath in Sirte

By Bill Van Auken, 1 September 2011

With its siege of the Libyan city of Sirte, NATO is carrying out precisely the kind of military assault on a civilian population center that it claimed its intervention was designed to prevent.

The Libyan war and “Germany’s disgrace”

By Ulrich Rippert, 1 September 2011

An article in Die Zeit, the prominent German weekly, points a finger at the government and its foreign minister because Germany did not originally involve itself in the terror bombing of Libya.

Divisions emerge among Libya’s NATO-led “rebels”

By Bill Van Auken, 31 August 2011

With the US and its European allies set to install a puppet regime based on the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council, deep divisions have emerged among the NATO-led “rebels”.

Tripoli faces humanitarian crisis

By Bill Van Auken, 30 August 2011

Tripoli is on the brink of a severe humanitarian crisis, its 2 million residents facing a lack of water, electricity, food and medical care while fighting continues in parts of the capital and elsewhere in Libya.

Germany: Foreign Minister Westerwelle under fire for abstention in Libya war

By Peter Schwarz, 30 August 2011

The German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has come under heavy attack following the conquest of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, by NATO-backed rebels.

Evidence mounts of atrocities by Libyan “rebels”

By Patrick Martin, 29 August 2011

There are numerous reports from journalists in Tripoli of summary executions and torture by the NATO-backed forces that have seized power in Libya.

WikiLeaks cables expose Washington’s close ties to Gaddafi

By Bill Van Auken, 27 August 2011

US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks expose the close collaboration between the US government and Muammar Gaddafi, who Washington now insists must be hunted down and murdered.

Libya: The criminal face of imperialism

By Bill Van Auken, 27 August 2011

NATO’s assault on Libya, a criminal imperialist war from its outset, has descended into an exercise in out-and-out murder as special forces operatives and intelligence agents hunt down Gaddafi.

The rape of Libya

By Bill Van Auken, 26 August 2011

Five days after “rebels” entered Tripoli, under the cover of NATO bombing and led by foreign special forces, the abject criminality of imperialism’s takeover of Libya is becoming increasingly evident.

US, NATO plan Libyan “stabilization” as fighting continues

By Bill Van Auken, 25 August 2011

Even as fighting continues in Libya, Washington and its NATO allies are drawing up plans to “stabilize” the oil-rich North African country, including the possible deployment of foreign troops.

German imperialism seeks a share in Libyan war spoils

By Dietmar Henning, 25 August 2011

In addition to Libya’s rich energy reserves, German companies are particularly interested in the billions of euros of government assets that have been frozen in foreign accounts.

Fighting continues in Tripoli after Gaddafi compound is overrun

By Bill Van Auken, 24 August 2011

Fighting continued in the Libyan capital of Tripoli Tuesday after NATO-backed forces sacked Muammar Gaddafi’s compound.

Libya as a model for redividing the Middle East

By Bill Van Auken, 24 August 2011

Former State Department official Philip Zelikow offers Libya as a model for carving up the Middle East and smashing up the Arab states.

Fierce fighting continues in Tripoli

By Bill Van Auken, 23 August 2011

Fierce fighting raged into the night in Tripoli Monday, even as leaders of the major Western powers proclaimed the end of the Gaddafi regime and maneuvered for position in the scramble for Libya’s oil wealth.

NATO-backed forces move into Tripoli

By Patrick Martin, 22 August 2011

The Gaddafi regime is on the brink of collapse after stepped-up air attacks, including the use of helicopter gunships to back the ground forces of the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council.

Western-backed rebel forces encircle Libyan capital

By Alex Lantier, 20 August 2011

NATO warplanes are bombing Tripoli as Western-backed ground forces of the Transitional National Council (TNC) try to encircle the Libyan capital.

Professor Cole “answers” WSWS on Libya: An admission of intellectual and political bankruptcy

By Bill Van Auken, 16 August 2011

In response to the World Socialist Web Site’s demand for a retraction of his slanders, Juan Cole offers an unserious reply, proving himself incapable of answering our arguments or defending his support for the imperialist war against Libya.

NATO’s puppet regime in Libya falls apart

By Peter Symonds, 13 August 2011

The intrigues and infighting in Benghazi following the murder of General Younis are not only an indictment of NATO, but of the various liberals and pseudo-radicals that have acted as cheerleaders for its military intervention in Libya.

NATO allows Libyan refugees to drown in the Mediterranean

By Peter Schwarz, 13 August 2011

NATO has allowed hundreds of refugees from Libya war to drown at sea.

NATO airstrike kills dozens of civilians east of Tripoli

By Kate Randall, 10 August 2011

The Libyan government charged Tuesday that a NATO airstrike killed 85 civilians near Zlitan, 90 miles east of the capital Tripoli on the Mediterranean coast.

An open letter to Professor Juan Cole: A reply to a slander

By Bill Van Auken, 10 August 2011

The World Socialist Web Site demands that Professor Cole retract his slanderous claim that the WSWS supports a massacre in Libya.

Charges mount of NATO war crimes in Libya

By Patrick Martin, 6 August 2011

NATO forces are charged with allowing refugees to drown and deliberately targeting civilian journalists for bombing.

NATO facing military stalemate in Libya

By Peter Symonds, 4 August 2011

The unexplained killing last week of the Libyan “rebel” military commander, General Abdel Fatah Younis, has highlighted the divided and unstable character of the NATO-backed Transitional National Council.

General's killing sparks crisis in Western-backed Libyan TNC

By Bill Van Auken, 30 July 2011

The assassination of a former Gaddafi official who became military chief of the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council has raised the specter of a civil war within the Western-backed Libyan "rebels."

Imperialist powers seek exit from Libyan war

By James Cogan, 28 July 2011

After five months of raining death and destruction on the people of Libya, the major powers are now offering a settlement with Gaddafi and his regime.

WikiLeaks documents shed light on US-backed intervention in Libya

By Robert Morgan, 27 July 2011

Washington has had only one objective—the installation of a regime that better serves the interests of the US and international oil and gas companies.

The US recognises Libya’s Transitional National Council

By Patrick O’Connor, 20 July 2011

The Obama administration’s decision to recognise the so-called Transitional National Council as Libya’s “legitimate governing authority” is an unlawful act of political banditry.

As military operations stall, US recognises Libyan rebels

By James Cogan, 16 July 2011

The four-month air war and numerous assassination attempts have failed to remove Muammar Gaddafi from power in the oil and gas-rich North African country.

In bipartisan vote French parliament continues war in Libya

By Antoine Lerougetel, 14 July 2011

On Tuesday the French parliament voted overwhelmingly to continue France’s imperialist war in Libya.

French government manoeuvres for resolution to Libyan war

By Patrick O’Connor, 13 July 2011

The diplomatic moves reflect the growing crisis confronting the US, France and Britain as their illegal military campaign enters its fifth month without succeeding in forcing regime change in Tripoli.

Why is the New Anti-Capitalist Party silent on the Libyan war?

By Kumaran Ira, 12 July 2011

If the NPA does not criticise the illegal militarist policies of the French government, it is because the government is doing exactly what the NPA is asking it to do.

Germany offers bombs and military technology for war against Libya

By Sven Heymanns, 8 July 2011

As NATO runs out of ammunition, Germany is offering bombs and technology for the war against Libya.

Canada’s foreign affairs minister meets with Libyan rebels

By Graham Beverley, 6 July 2011

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird secretly flew to Libya last week to meet with leaders of the Transitional National Council to justify waging war on Libya.

Military stalemate in Libya heightens US-NATO crisis

By Patrick O’Connor, 5 July 2011

Despite nearly four months of daily US-NATO bombing raids over Libya, so-called rebel fighters have failed to make any significant advance beyond the areas they controlled in March.

France arms anti-Gaddafi forces

By Julie Hyland, 2 July 2011

France acknowledged this week that it had supplied weapons to oppositionists fighting Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in Libya.

The US policy of assassination

By Joseph Kishore, 1 July 2011

More than one hundred days into the Libya war, the US-NATO strategy is ever more nakedly aimed at the political assassination of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

ICC prosecutor clarifies purpose behind charges against Libya’s Gaddafi

By James Cogan, 30 June 2011

The International Criminal Court chief prosecutor’s statement is a mafia-style ultimatum to the Libyan political elite—abandon Gaddafi, or share his fate of death or imprisonment.

ICC orders arrest of Gaddafi as NATO bombings reach 100th day

By Bill Van Auken, 28 June 2011

The arrest warrant against Gaddafi only underscores the role of the International Criminal Court as an instrument of the US and the other major imperialist powers.

Britain and France insist bombing of Libya must continue

By Peter Symonds, 25 June 2011

Britain and France have dismissed a call by Italy for a ceasefire in Libya, underscoring mounting tensions within NATO over its bid to install a compliant regime in the oil-rich country.

US House defeats measure to reduce funding for Libya war

By Patrick Martin, 25 June 2011

The House of Representatives voted against a resolution authorizing the war in Libya, but then refused to cut back funding for its continuation.

Kerry, McCain push Senate resolution to sanction war in Libya

By Joseph Kishore and Barry Grey, 22 June 2011

Democrat John Kerry and Republican John McCain have introduced a Senate resolution that would retroactively authorize the Obama administration’s war in Libya

NATO attack kills 19, including women and children

By Chris Marsden, 22 June 2011

Monday night’s air strike on a compound west of Tripoli that killed 19, including women and children, puts an end to any pretence that NATO is not deliberately targeting civilians in its ongoing bombardment of Libya.

Obama flouts legal deadline on Libya war

By Patrick Martin, 20 June 2011

June 19 marked the 90-day limit on the use of US military forces in Libya under the War Powers Act

NATO bombs kill Libyan civilians in Tripoli

By Peter Symonds, 20 June 2011

Contrary to NATO claims, it is inconceivable that this was the only strike out of more than 11,000 to have killed civilians.

Oil companies prepare for post-Gaddafi Libya

By Patrick O’Connor, 17 June 2011

The major US and European oil conglomerates previously active in Libya are preparing to resume business in the event that the illegal NATO-led war achieves its objective of “regime change”.

French lawyers sue Sarkozy over crimes against humanity in Libya

By Antoine Lerougetel, 17 June 2011

The lawsuit was filed May 30 on behalf of Libyans who have lost family members in the NATO bombings.

Obama defends Libya war, rejects need for Congress vote

By Bill Van Auken, 16 June 2011

The Obama administration argued Wednesday that the War Powers Act, requiring congressional approval for undeclared US wars, does not apply to the nearly three-month-old war against Libya.

France’s New Anti-Capitalist Party continues support for war on Libya

By Kumaran Ira, 16 June 2011

The NPA has finally broken its month-long silence on the NATO war of aggression against Libya, which it vocally supported when it was launched in March.