On February 20th and 21st 2011, Gaddafi forces launched artillery and airstrikes on Tripoli, injuring dozens and killing over 200, according to local claims. Agence France Presse quoted witnesses reporting massacres in the neighbourhoods of Fashalom and Tajoura. Other eyewitnesses reported helicopter bombings in the Souq al-Jumaa area.
A video showed helicopters over the skies of Tripoli, dated the 21st. Other videos showed the injured in Tripoli’s central hospital, dated the 20th. Mercenary forces were reported to be among the actors involved in these strikes in Tripoli, occupying al-Jumhuriya street in Fashalom.
A UN investigation later stated that “doctors informed the Commission that between 20-21 February 2011 over 200 bodies were brought into morgues”.
Adel Mohamad Saleh was quoted in Al-Jazeera as reporting over 250 dead, while the BBC spoke of reports of 150 fatalities in Tripoli.
A Facebook post from the group ‘If the people want their freedom’ stated: “On 21-02-2011, between nine and eleven at night, anti-aircraft shells were flying in the sky, when the Khamis Brigade was hit with anti-aircraft guns in the Fashlum area in Tripoli. These anti-aircraft machine guns had also struck at the dwellings, the doors of the dwellings, and whatever”.
One source stated that over 700 were killed overall, although this number was not reflected by any other sources.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Fashloum (فشلوم) and the town of Tajoura (تاجوراء) within the Tripoli (طرابلس) district. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates of a middle point between these two locations are: 32.864063, 13.275073.