All Belligerents in Libya

An injured boy stands in ruins following fighting. (via Saraya Media Center, linked to the militant Shura Council Benghazi)

A 2011 popular uprising in Libya (supported militarily by NATO) against dictator Muammar Ghadafi led to significant upheavals in the North African country – in what former US President Barack Obama would later describe as his greatest foreign policy failure. As Libya collapsed into rival governments, factional militias and civil war, radical Islamist groups including so-called Islamic State began seizing territory. This, in turn, led to several foreign powers again intervening militarily – including the United States, France, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. For our Libya project, Airwars has teamed up with the New America Foundation to assess all known public records of air and artillery strikes and reported civilian harm since the end of the NATO campaign in 2011. The ongoing study was launched in summer 2018 and continues daily to monitor the security situation in Libya. Together we have identified hundreds of likely civilian fatalities in a complex conflict which has seen over 2,600 airstrikes from at least ten belligerents, both foreign and domestic – though none has ever conceded civilian harm from its own actions.

2,579
Days of Campaign
2,609
Strikes by all belligerents in Libya
186
Alleged civilian casualty incidents monitored

Airwars estimate of civilian deaths

150–225

Locally reported civilian deaths from actions in Iraq and Syria for which the reporting was assessed by Airwars as Fair, or have been Confirmed by a belligerent. These originate from 126 seperate alleged incidents.

8–10 children likely killed
197–354 likely injured
9 named victims

All belligerents in Libya estimate of civilian deaths

0

Confirmed civilian deaths, from all belligerents’ actions in Libya, originating from 0 seperate incidents of civilian harm.

0 confirmed injured

Alleged deaths 292–449

Locally reported civilian deaths from actions in Libya.

186 separate alleged incidents

Confirmed or fair
Confirmed: A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
Fair: Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
150–225

Civilian deaths for which the reporting was assessed by Airwars as Fair, or have been Confirmed by one ore more belligerents in Libya

126 separate alleged incidents

Weak
Weak: Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
45–82

Civilian deaths for which the reporting was assessed by Airwars as Weak.

27 separate alleged incidents

Contested
Contested: Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
95–139

Civilian deaths for which the reporting is assessed by Airwars as Contested.

28 separate alleged incidents

Discounted
Discounted: Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
0–1

Civilian deaths were Discounted by Airwars after assessment.

2 separate alleged incidents

Reported civilian deaths from all belligerents’ strikes in Libya

Due to large variations in the quality of reporting, Airwars provisionally grades allegations of civilian harm using a standardised methodology across all belligerents and conflicts. The five categories are explained in full on our Methodology page. Individual events are recorded in the Civilian Casualties pages.

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Credit: Airwars Graphic
Source: Airwars

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