All Belligerents in Libya, 2012–present

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 Gaddafi 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. Several foreign powers again intervened militarily – including the US. A third wave of interference began in 2019 following the LNA’s siege of Tripoli – with Turkey backing the GNA; and the UAE, Russia and Egypt supporting the LNA.

For our Libya project, Airwars initially 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 thousands of air and artillery strikes from at least ten belligerents, both foreign and domestic – though none has ever conceded civilian harm from its own actions. In April 2020 this became a solo Airwars project. Our findings for the 2011 Libya uprising are here.

12years5months13days
Length of Campaign
5,479
Strikes by all belligerents in Libya
2012 – Present
550
Alleged civilian casualty incidents assessed

Airwars estimate of civilian deaths

508–743

Locally reported civilian deaths from declared or likely actions in Libya for which the reporting was assessed by Airwars as Fair, or have been Confirmed by a belligerent. These originate from 332 separate alleged incidents.

78–94 children likely killed
38–41 women likely killed
870–1,356 likely injured
565 named victims

All belligerents in Libya estimate of civilian deaths

0

Confirmed civilian deaths, from all belligerents’ actions in Libya, originating from 20 separate incidents of civilian harm.

0 civilians confirmed injured

Alleged deaths 835–1,219

Locally reported civilian deaths from actions in Libya.

550 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.
508–743

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

332 separate alleged incidents

Weak
Weak: Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
113–159

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

126 separate alleged incidents

Contested
Contested: Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
207–306

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

83 separate alleged incidents

Discounted
Discounted: Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
0–2

Civilian deaths were Discounted by Airwars after assessment.

4 separate alleged incidents

Annual report 2022

Airwars annual report for May 2022-May 2023. The report outlines key highlights from the organisation’s research, investigations and advocacy departments over the time period, as well as strategic objectives and basic financial details. It includes a foreword by Airwars’ director Emily Tripp, who took over at the beginning of the time period, and is designed

Published
May 2023
Country
Iraq Libya Syria the Gaza Strip Ukraine
Belligerents
NATO forces Russian Military Ukrainian Military US Forces US-led Coalition
Output Type
Report

US airstrikes fell to historic low in 2022, despite fresh operations

In the second year of President Joe Biden’s administration, the number of US airstrikes fell to an historic low as some military engagements appeared to take a different form — with the redeployment of US forces to Somalia and a shift towards targeted raids on Islamic State figures in Syria. The overall number of declared

Published
February 2023
Country
Afghanistan Iraq Libya Pakistan Somalia Syria Yemen
Belligerents
US Forces US-led Coalition
Output Type
Analysis

All Belligerents in Libya 2012 – Present Casualty and Strikes Map

A 2011 popular uprising in Libya (supported militarily by NATO) against dictator Muammar Gaddafi 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

Published
September 2022
Country
Libya
Output Type
Heatmap Map Visualisation
Languages
English العربية