United States involvement in the Libyan Civil War
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United States involvement in the Libyan civil war has consisted of (initially) diplomatic initiatives and sanctions, followed by implementation of the UN-mandated no-fly zone, and then the development of diplomatic relations with the rebels as well as humanitarian aid, bombing missions to destroy Gaddafi's military capabilities, and diplomatic assistance to the rebels.
In June 2011, bombers thought to be from France killed nine civilians in Libya, including two toddlers.
Development of American relations with the National Transitional Council
On 10 March 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met anti-Gaddafi opposition leaders during a trip to Egypt and Tunisia. After the meeting between Clinton and representatives of the council, the European Union and the U.S have decided to talk to the council without officially recognising them, in order to seek further information on the group and its goals. On 17 March, ahead of a U.N vote on a no-fly zone, Under Secretary of State William Burns affirmed U.S support for a no-fly zone, as well as more aggressive measures to restrain Gaddhafi, that the U.S is investigating transferring Gaddafi's frozen assets to the rebels, and that the NTC may open an embassy in Washington. On 29 March, the U.S. confirmed at a conference in London that it will send a formal representative to Benghazi. In late April, Ambassador Gene Cretz said the U.S. was continuing to consider formal recognition of the council, but in the meantime, it is providing strong informal support, including reportedly authorizing international oil deals with rebel-held eastern Libya. On 13 May 2011, US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon said his government recognized the National Transitional Council as "a legitimate and credible interlocutor of the Libyan people" after meeting with Prime Minister Mahmoud Jebril. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the U.S. had not yet decided to fully recognize the council as Libya's sole legitimate representative body. On 24 May, the NTC opened a formal diplomatic office in Washington, D.C. (the U.S. had already had an office in Benghazi with a formal envoy for nearly two months). On 9 June, Clinton said, "The United States views the Transitional National Council as the legitimate interlocutor for the Libyan people during this interim period," but Washington and Benghazi indicated that the U.S. still had not committed to the same level of formal recognition as France and several other countries. On 15 July, at an international conference on Libya held in Turkey, Clinton stated that the US had decided to formally recognise the TNC as the country's "legitimate authority", allowing the US to divert over $30 billion worth of Gaddafi regime funds frozen in the US to the TNC.
- "Bombers Over Libya". Air Force Magazine. July 2011.(login required)
- David Axe (July 13, 2011). "Two Bombers, 24 Hours, 100 Libyan Targets Destroyed". Wired. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
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- Roland Lloyd Parry, G8 shies away from Libya no-fly plan, AFP, 15 March 2011[dead link]
- "לוב מאיימת: אם נותקף, נתקוף מטרות אזרחיות וצבאיות" [Libya threatens: if we are attacked, we attack civilian and military targets]. Haaretz (in Hebrew). Associated Press. 17 March 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2014. "בדבריו בפני ועדת החוץ של הסאנט, אמר תת-שרת החוץ האמריקאית, ויליאם ברנס, כי הממשל מבקש לאסור טיסה בשמי לוב, אך גם לאמץ פעולות נוספות מעבר לכך ובהן תקיפות אוויריות נגד מטרות צבאיות. כמו כן, ארה"ב מבקשת לאשר להעביר את נכסיו המוקפאים של קדאפי לידי המורדים כדי שיוכלו להצטייד בתחמושת וכן לחזק את האמברגו על סחר בנשק עם לוב. עוד מסר ברנס כי ייתכן שהמועצה הלאומית של המורדים בלוב תפתח נציגות בוושינגטון. [In his speech before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate, Undersecretary of State William Burns said that the administration seeks to ban flights over Libya, but also adopt additional actions beyond that, including air strikes against military targets. In addition, the United States seeks to approve transfer Gaddafi's frozen assets to the rebels so they can stock up on ammunition and strengthen the embargo on arms trade with Libya. Burns also said that the National Council of the Libyan rebels may open a representative office in Washington.]"
- Mu Xuequan (29 March 2011). "Libya's rebels say US appoints Benghazi envoy". Xinhua. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
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