Timeline: Libya's civil war nears end

Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:25pm BST

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrated the fall of Sirte  October 20, 2011.  REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrated the fall of Sirte October 20, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori

(Reuters) - Here is a timeline of the civil war in Libya since protests against Muammar Gaddafi broke out in February:

February 15/16, 2011 - The arrest of human rights activist Fethi Tarbel starts a riot in Benghazi.

February 24 - Anti-government militias take control of central coastal city of Misrata after evicting forces loyal to Gaddafi.

February 26 - The U.N. Security Council imposes sanctions on Gaddafi and his family, and refers the crackdown on rebels to the International Criminal Court.

February 28 - EU governments approve sanctions against Gaddafi and his closest advisers.

March 5 - The rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) in Benghazi declares itself Libya's sole representative.

March 17 - The U.N. Security Council votes to authorize a no-fly zone over Libya and military action -- to protect civilians against Gaddafi's army.

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

April 30 - A NATO missile attack on a house in Tripoli kills Gaddafi's youngest son and three grandchildren, his government says.

June 27 - The ICC issues arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity.

August 21 - Rebels enter Tripoli with little resistance. Gaddafi makes audio addresses over state television calling on Libyans to fight off the rebel "rats."

August 23 - The rebels overrun Gaddafi's fortified Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli, trashing the symbols of his rule.

August 29 - Gaddafi's wife, his daughter Aisha and two of his sons enter Algeria. Aisha Gaddafi gives birth in a clinic in a border town hours after crossing the frontier.

September 1 - Libya's interim rulers meet world leaders at a conference in Paris to discuss reshaping Libya. Gaddafi, on the 42nd anniversary of his coming to power, urges his supporters to fight on.

September 8 - Interim prime minister Mahmoud Jibril arrives in Tripoli on his first visit since it was taken by his forces.

September 11 - Libya starts producing oil again. Niger says Gaddafi's son Saadi has arrived there.

September 13 - Interim government chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil makes his first speech in Tripoli to a crowd of about 10,000.

September 15 - France's Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain's David Cameron land in Libya to a heroes' welcome.

September 16 - The U.N. Security Council eases sanctions on Libya, including on its national oil company and central bank. The U.N. General Assembly approves a request to accredit interim government envoys as Libya's sole representatives at the U.N., effectively recognizing the NTC.

September 20 - U.S. President Barack Obama calls for the last of Gaddafi's loyalist forces to surrender as he announces the return of the U.S. ambassador to Tripoli. Gaddafi taunts NATO in a speech broadcast by Syrian-based Arrai television station.

September 21 - The interim rulers say they have captured most of Sabha, one of three main towns where Gaddafi loyalists have been holding out since the fall of Tripoli. Gaddafi's birthplace Sirte and the town of Bani Walid continue to resist.

September 25 - The first Libyan crude oil to be shipped in months sails from the eastern port of Marsa el Hariga for Italy.

September 27 - NATO says Libya's interim rulers have taken full control of the country's stockpile of chemical weapons and nuclear material.

October 12 - Government fighters capture Gaddafi's son Mo'tassim after he tried to escape Sirte.

October 13 - NTC forces say they have control of the whole of Sirte except neighborhood 'Number Two' where Gaddafi forces are surrounded.

October 14 - Gunfights break out in Tripoli between Gaddafi supporters and NTC forces, the first sign of armed resistance to the new government.

October 17 - NTC forces celebrate the capture of Bani Walid, one of the final bastions of Gaddafi loyalists.

-- A Syrian television station confirms Gaddafi's son Khamis died in fighting southeast of Tripoli on August 29.

October 18 - U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton arrives in Libya on an unannounced visit, urges militias to unite.

October 20 - NTC fighters capture Sirte, Gaddafi's hometown, ending a two-month siege and extinguishing the last significant hold out of troops loyal to the deposed leader.

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