For our Libya project, Airwars has teamed up with the New America Foundation to assess all known public records of airstrikes and reported civilian harm since the end of the NATO campaign in 2011. We have identified hundreds of likely civilian fatalities in a complex conflict which has seen over 2,000 airstrikes from at least eight belligerents, both foreign and domestic.

▲ Image via Saraya Media Center, linked to the militant Shura Council of Benghazi
2,573
Total strikes monitored
273
Minimum alleged civilian fatalities
414
Maximum alleged civilian fatalities
▲ Image via Saraya Media Center, linked to the militant Shura Council of Benghazi
Summary of our findings, 2014–2018

Airwars is a not for profit transparency organisation which monitors and assesses battlefield civilian harm in conflict zones including Libya, Iraq and Syria. We then seek transparency and accountability from militaries and governments, while advocating on behalf of affected communities. In addition we permanently archive open-source casualty reports and military claims.

From January 1st 2012 to June 17th 2018, Airwars and the New America Foundation have identified 2,180 declared and alleged airstrikes by up to eight domestic and foreign belligerents, operating within Libya. While some (the US, the Libyan National Army, and on occasion Egypt) have chosen to declare many of their actions, most strikes in Libya remain unclaimed by any party – indicative of a general lawlessness in Libya’s skies.

According to available public claims, between 244 and 379 civilian non-combatant deaths have been alleged from airstrikes by all parties in Libya since 2012 – with between 353 and 541 civilians additionally claimed injured.

Locally reported civilian harm from airstrikes in Libya is relatively light compared with other recent conflicts – for example Syria and Yemen. This may reflect the present lower intensity of the conflict in Libya; a lower population density in some targeted areas; and poorer local reporting by media and social media sources. To date, no belligerent has ever been known to have accepted responsibility for civilian harm from airstrikes since 2012.

 

Strikes and civilian fatalities by belligerent
Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA)
7–9
Alleged Civilian Fatalities
90 Reported Strikes
Libyan General National Congress (GNC)
7–8
Alleged Civilian Fatalities
47 Reported Strikes
Libyan National Army (LNA)
110–173
Alleged Civilian Fatalities
1365 Reported Strikes
Egypt
13–14
Alleged Civilian Fatalities
41 Reported Strikes
France
4–8
Alleged Civilian Fatalities
5 Reported Strikes
United Arab Emirates
11–18
Alleged Civilian Fatalities
50 Reported Strikes
United States of America
11–21
Alleged Civilian Fatalities
527 Reported Strikes
Joint/Contested
94–139
Alleged Civilian Fatalities
237 Reported Strikes
Unknown
16–24
Alleged Civilian Fatalities
209 Reported Strikes

Airstrikes and civilian harm reports in Libya are often attributed either to joint actions by two or more belligerents; or to contested cases where it is unclear whether casualties resulted from other ground actions.

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