Six months of conflict in Libya

TRIPOLI, Aug 14, 2011 (AFP) - Key events in the Libya conflict:

- February 15-19: Inspired by revolts in other Arab countries, including neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, a rebellion breaks out, including in Benghazi, Libya's second city.

- March 19: With the forces of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi threatening rebel-held Benghazi, French, US and British forces launch UN-mandated air attacks and push them back.

- March 30: Libyan foreign minister Mussa Kussa defects, to be followed by dozens of political and military figures.

- March 31: The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation takes over formal command of the military operation, which turns into a slogging match between rebels entrenched mainly in the east and Kadhafi forces in the west.

- April 20: France and Italy join Britain in sending military advisers to assist the rebels.

- May 1: Kadhafi escapes a NATO air strike, which the regime says kills his youngest son, Seif al-Arab, and three of his grandchildren.

- June 1: NATO says the operation, originally due to wind up at the end of June, will continue until the end of September.

- June 9: An International Contact Group on Libya meets in Abu Dhabi, and finalises a fund aimed at helping the rebels.

- June 20-21: The Libyan authorities say 24 civilians have been killed in NATO air strikes.

- June 27: The International Criminal Court (ICC), set up to judge war crimes, issues an arrest warrant for Kadhafi for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

- June 29: France says it has air dropped arms shipments to rebels fighting Kadhafi's forces.

- July 14: The rebels consolidate their positions in the West, and begin an offensive on the oil town of Brega. NATO dismisses accusations that its attacks have killed more than 1,100 civilians.

- July 15: At a meeting in Istanbul, the Contact Group designates the rebels as Libya's legitimate rulers, paving the way for the release of frozen Kadhafi regime assets.

- July 25: NATO says it supported rebels by hitting a military facility, armoured vehicles, tanks and light military vehicles around Brega.

- July 28: Rebel military chief General Abdel Fatah Yunis is assassinated as insurgent fighters pound forces loyal to Kadhafi in the west of the country.

- August 5: The regime denies the death of Kadhafi's son Khamis in a NATO raid, as announced by rebels.

- August 6: The western town of Bir al-Ghanam falls to the rebels.

- August 8: Rebel leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil sacks the entire executive office of his government.

- August 9: Libyan authorities accuse NATO of a "massacre" of 85 villagers in air strikes south of Zliten in western Libya. NATO insists it has no evidence of the civilian deaths.

- August 10: EU widens sanctions against the regime.

- August 11: Rebels at the gates of the strategic oil town of Brega, as NATO says Kadhafi forces are no longer able to launch a credible military offensive. UN chief Ban Ki-moon expresses alarm over the rising number of civilian casualties.

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