All Belligerents in Libya, 2011

Mourners in Majer, Libya in 2011 following a NATO airstrike which killed at least 34 civilians, according to multiple reports. Image courtesy of Sidney Kwiram/ Human Rights Watch

Belligerent
Country
Libya
start date
end date
Civilian Harm Status
Belligerent Assessment
Declassified Documents

Incident Code

Lib2011-135

Incident date

August 5, 2011

Location

مسكن مصطفى ناجي المرابط, Mustafa Naji Al Morabit, Murqub, Libya

Geolocation

32.472842, 14.489344 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (other) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (other)

Airwars assessment

Two children and their mother were allegedly killed in a NATO airstrike on Zliten.

The Telegraph said: “Residents from the town said the strike happened just after 6am, killing brothers Mohammed, three, and Moataz, five, and their mother Ibtisam.

Moussa Ibrahim, Libyan government spokesman, accused Nato of bombing civilian targets frequently.

He said: In the city of Zlitan, you saw with your own eyes the dead bodies of small children and their mother, there are many other examples around the country.

‘Unfortunately we are only able to take you to some scenes of these crimes, these take place everyday, sometimes whole families are killed, sometimes individuals.’

The Ministry of Defence said it had carried out air strikes on Tuesday and Wednesday against buildings, staging posts and a tank being used by Gaddafi forces near Zlitan.”

NDTV reported on a possibly related strike in the area without mentioning civilian harm: “A senior Libyan government official has denied rebel reports that Moammar Gaddafi’s youngest son was killed in a NATO airstrike on the western town of Zlitan.

Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim says Khamis Gaddafi is alive and spoke to Libyan government officials to confirm his well-being.”

An Amnesty International report later found: “On 4 August 2011 at about 6.30am the home of Mustafa Naji al-Morabit, in Zlitan west of Misratah, was struck, killing his 37-year-old wife, Ibtisam, and two of his three children, three-year-old Mo’taz and six-year-old Mohammed, as well as injuring his 60-year-old mother, Fatima ‘Omar Mansur. According to information provided by Mustafa Naji al-Morabit to Amnesty International, a nearby house (approximately 50 metersaway) had been used, until 1 August 2011, for meetings by military officers. Because they feared that the nearby house may be attacked by NATO, Mustafa Naji al-Morabit and his family had not been sleeping in their own home. They remained in the house during the day as it was common belief that NATO strikes were carried out at night. As opposition fighters were closing in on the area, the owner of the nearby house and others who had been meeting there fled by 2 August 2011, leaving the front gate wide open – a sign that they were not going to return. The al-Morabit family decided that it was therefore safe to return to their home and slept in their home for the first time on the night between 2 and 3 August 2011. The night passed without incident and the nearby house remained abandoned and the al-Morabit family again slept in their home the following night (between 3 and 4 August 2011), but the house was struck in the early hours of that morning.”

The NGO added: “In its 15 February 2012 letter to the ICIL, NATO referred to the above incident stating that the site was in fact struck on 4 August 2011, because it had been identified as ‘a senior regime commander’s command and control node located within a residential property’. Based on its examination of the site, interviews with witnesses and satellite images the ICIL found that ‘evidence suggests NATO hit the wrong building (and) that those killed were civilians’. Amnesty International reached the same conclusions.”

A Human Rights Watch investigation quoted the father saying: “Around 6:30 a.m., I heard an explosion, a terrible sound. I got up, and dust was falling all over; I couldn’t see in front of me. I was trying to reach my children and family, but I kept falling down. I reached the main road, and with the help of neighbors, we tried to lift the blocks and reach my family.

The first one we reached was my wife; we found her dead in her place. And then we got to my mother who was still alive, wounded in the left leg and right shoulder. Then we found [my son] Naji, who was alive. Mohamed, five years old, we found next to him still alive. I had no strength to continue and looked to others to save my family. They took Mohamed to the hospital, but he died before he got there; they say he suffocated from the dust. Then they found [my other son] Moataz, three years old. His brain was out of his head; I saw it. My house is demolished. My children are dead.”

The report added: “Al-Morabit and neighborhood residents initially said that no Gaddafi forces were in the area at the time of the attack. But in a subsequent interview on December 7, 2011, without the presence of a government minder, they said that the house next door had housed Gaddafi military personnel until August 2, two days before the attack. At the al-Morabit house itself, they said, they knew of no military equipment or personnel. A Human Rights Watch inspection of the house and yard on August 7 revealed no signs of military activity or material; however, evidence of a military target could potentially have been moved.

According to al-Morabit and two neighbors, interviewed separately, Libyan military personnel had used the large house next door to the al-Morabit house since late June. When the personnel moved into the house, al-Morabit said, he and his family began sleeping at his brother’s house, fearing a NATO attack in the area. He did not know how many military personnel and from which forces had moved into the neighboring house.”

NATO reported hitting “1 Military Radar Site, 1 Military Storage Facility” in Zliten on August 5th in its operational update.

The incident occured at approximately 6:30 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (4)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (24) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • Destroyed Morabit family home in Zliten after NATO airstrike on August 5th, 2011 (via Amnesty International)
  • Killed Morabit family members after NATO airstrike in Zliten on August 5th, 2011 (via Amnesty International)
  • Killed Morabit family members after NATO airstrike in Zliten on August 5th, 2011 (via Amnesty International)
  • Killed and injured Morabit children after NATO airstrike in Zliten on August 5th, 2011 (via Amnesty International)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The three victims of the the NATO strikes on the Morabit family home in Zliten on August 4th, 2011 (Youssef Shaftar)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the house of Mustafa Naji Al Morabit (مسكن مصطفى ناجي المرابط) being struck, within the city of Zlitan (زليتن), the exact location of which has been published by New York Times and Human Rights Watch. The exact coordinates are: 32.472842, 14.489344.

  • Reports of the incident mention the house of Mustafa Naji Al Morabit (مسكن مصطفى ناجي المرابط) being struck, within the city of Zlitan (زليتن), the exact location of which has been published by New York Times and Human Rights Watch.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Under investigation
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

NATO forces
  • Jan 8, 2012
  • This target had been identified as a regime senior commander’s command and control node, located within a residential property four miles west of Zlitan. At no time were civilians intentionally targeted. The target building and buildings immediately adjacent to it were used exclusively by senior regime commanders as an active command and control facility directing forces in the Zlitan area. The structure was positively identified and one precision guided weapon was dropped on 4 August. Review of intelligence confirms that the correct and intended building was struck, and assessment of the claimed civilian casualties at the time concluded that this was highly unlikely. This incident is under further assessment.

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In the vicinity of Zlitan: 1 Military Radar Site, 1 Military Storage Facility.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (24) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-180

Incident date

September 24, 2011

Location

سرت‎, Sirte, Libya

Geolocation

31.20892, 16.58866 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

One civilian was allegedly injured by NATO bombing on Sirte.

TV Arrai reported bombing of residential areas by NATO.

Surt Son posted a video on Youtube of a civilian with face injuries. The narrator says he was injured while sitting near his car.

NATO on that day reported hitting “2 command and control nodes, 1 military staging location, 1 division storage bunker and radar facility, 3 ammunition storage facilities, 1 weapon firing position, 1 ammunition and vehicle storage facility, 1 vehicle staging point, 29 armed vehicles” near Sirte.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Sirte (سرت‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.20892, 16.58866. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In the vicinity of Sirte: 2 command and control nodes, 1 military staging location, 1 division storage bunker and radar facility, 3 ammunition storage facilities, 1 weapon firing position, 1 ammunition and vehicle storage facility, 1 vehicle staging point, 29 armed vehicles.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-061

Incident date

April 6, 2011

Location

مصراتة‎, Misurata, Libya

Geolocation

32.374457, 15.087794 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

On April 6th 2011, Gaddafi forces launched an airstrike or artillery shelling on Misurata in the evening that resulted in the reported deaths of five people and the injuring of an additional 25.

Al Jazeera said that five people were killed and 25 others wounded in the bombing on areas controlled by the rebels in Misurata, the third-largest city in Libya. The port was temporarily closed as a result.

@egyptynewsnet also said five were killed.

The incident occured in the evening.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • Civilians reported injured
    25
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Misurata (مصراتة), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.374457, 15.087794. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Gaddafi Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Gaddafi Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • Civilians reported injured
    25
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-158

Incident date

September 7, 2011

Location

التسعين, Al Tes'een, Sirte, Libya

Geolocation

31.012631, 17.448006 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

On September 7th, 2011 NATO forces bombed the Al Tes’seen near Sirte, killing a 60 year old woman and injuring two children, a four year old girl and nine year old boy. Another unnamed woman was shown on video in the hospital, but it was unclear if she had died as a result of the strikes.

The woman killed was named as Saada al-Zayani, who died during surgery from injuries due to the bombing. The four year old girl was injured in the chest, while the nine year old boy suffered injuries to his right leg.

Nour Al Din Nasser Al Zanki reported the names, while a Surt Son video, dated on September 7th, showed the unnamed woman.

NATO reported hitting “5 Armoured Fighting Vehicles, 2 Armed Vehicles” in Sirte on that day.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1–2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Unnamed woman, from a Surt Son video dated September 7, 2011

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the area of Al Tes’een (التسعين), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.012631, 17.448006. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In the vicinity of Sirte: 5 Armoured Fighting Vehicles, 2 Armed Vehicles

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1–2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-147

Incident date

August 23, 2011

Location

غرغور, Gharghour, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.863772, 13.166964 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

At least 21 people, including at least three men, were killed and two men were injured in a detention facility run by the Revolutionary Guard in Gargur, south of Bab Al-Aziziyah, on August 23, 2011 according to UN Report Source Page 72.

According to witnesses and family members, most of those being held in the detention facility had been arrested on the 18 & 19 of August 2011 in Tripoli. In the top floor of the building, 14 detainees were held for five days without receiving any food and only water in the evenings. On August 23, 2011 witnesses heard gunfire and found the bodies of 21 people, with only two men still alive.

Names of those killed:

Ihab Abdul Hamid bin Al-Sheikh, born 1986

Khalifa Abd al-Rahman al-Daghra, a student of the Faculty of Engineering, Computer Department, born in 1988

Abd al-Salam Abdullah al-Muqlash

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    21
  • (3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Ihab Abdul Hamid bin Al-Sheikh, killed August 23, 2011
  • Khalifa Abd al-Rahman al-Daghra, killed August 23, 2011
  • Abd al-Salam al-Muqlash, killed August 23, 2011

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the area of Gharghour (غرغور), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.863772, 13.166964. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Reports of the incident mention the area of Gharghour (غرغور) in Tripoli (طرابلس‎).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    21
  • (3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-009

Incident date

February 18, 2011

Location

قرب قاعدة حسين الجويفل في الشحات, Near Hussein Al Jaweifi Military Base, Jabal al Akhdar, Libya

Geolocation

32.804491, 21.876513 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Nearby landmark

Airwars assessment

On February 18th, 2011, Amnesty International reported that two civilians were reported killed at the protests in the Hussein al-Jaweifi military base in Shahat, from soldiers who fired at the protestors. Ruqayya al-Mabrok al-Hassi, an 11 year old girl, was killed as a result of a stray bullet.

Amnesty quotes “A bullet fired from the base struck a building across the main road, killing 12-year-old Roqaya Fawzi Mabrouk as she was looking out of her bedroom window at about 3am.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected target
    Libyan rebel forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Ruqayya Al-Mabrouk Al-Hassi, who was the first reported child killed in protests. From the February 17th martyrs Facebook page "https://www.facebook.com/259971927376077/photos/a.259986060707997/262449503794986/"

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the Hussein Al Jaweifi military base (قاعدة حسني الجويفي العسكرية) in the town of Shahat (شحات), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.804491, 21.876513. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected target
    Libyan rebel forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]