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22nd February 2011 to 28th Feb in the Libyan Civil War

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See 15th February 2011 to 21st Feb in the Libyan Civil War

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April 2011 in the Libyan Civil War

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22 February[edit]

File:Col Gaddafi's statement, 22 Feb 2011.JPG
Muammar Gaddafi uttering his historic "I am in Tripoli" rallying call through Libyan state television, 22 February 2011.

""I am in Tripoli.[2] Do not believe the (news) channels belonging to stray dogs."[3][4]"

Gunfire was reportedly heard throughout the night of 21–22 February. Government soldiers were reported to have continued some bombarding to keep defecting soldiers away from the protests. Fighter jets were reported to have targeted army ammunition depots in order to prevent troops from joining the protesters.[5]
  • A Libyan naval vessel was reportedly sighted off the coast of Malta. According to Al Jazeera, five Italian fighter jets overflew the ship, and the Italian Navy began conducting surveillance. The ship reportedly had its flag lowered, suggesting that the crew may want to defect.[6] The Armed Forces of Malta several times denied reports in the international media that it was monitoring any such vessels approaching Maltese shores.[7]
  • Former Libyan Ambassador to India Ali Abd-al-Aziz al-Isawi, stated that he feared returning to Libya. He also confirmed that fighter jets were used to bomb civilians, and that foreign mercenaries, who seemed to have come from other African states, were "massacring" people.[8]
  • Former Libyan Ambassador to Bangladesh A. H. Elimam, was also reported to have "disappeared" after 9:00 Bangladesh time. Al Jazeera said the last conversation with him noted "a sense of panic" in his voice and that his phone had been switched off. He indicated a feeling of being threatened by an intelligence officer at the embassy, who was from the same village as Gaddafi. The Bangladeshi Foreign Ministry and other diplomats in that state could not confirm his whereabouts.[9]
  • A doctor in Tripoli told Asharq Al-Awsat that mercenaries broke into his hospital and killed injured people.[10]
File:Muammar Gaddafi speech, 22 Feb 2011.png
Muammar Gaddafi during his hour-long speech, also on Libyan state television, 22 February 2011.
  • Former UK Foreign Secretary David Owen said that a "military intervention" via a no-fly zone was immediately necessary.[11] The Austrian Army reported that the airspace around Tripoli had been closed,[12] but later retracted the statement. An Austrian Defense Ministry spokesman, Michael Huber, said: "One of our sources said that initially that it (airspace) was closed, but then another later confirmed otherwise. Our plane was able to leave."[13]
  • Eyewitnesses reported that thousands of African mercenaries were flown into Tripoli to put down the uprising.[14] One insider source reportedly said that Gaddafi now could only rely on his own clan and 5,000 men, out of 45,000, and knew he could not retake Libya. According to this source, he apparently planned to force a Pyrrhic victory on his opponents; to whittle down their numbers with many skirmishes, harm the economy by sabotaging oil reserves, and in every sense damaging infrastructure to the best of his ability, stating "I have the money and arms to fight for a long time".[15] Oil infrastructures may be sabotaged to cut economic supply to rebel clans, while fights may lead thousands to flee Libya to pressure them. Thus, all may prefer to accept the Gaddafi's status quo.[15]
I am a Bedouin warrior who brought glory to Libyans|Muammar Gaddafi during his speech on 22 February 2011.[16]
  • In a second speech within twenty-four hours, believed by commentators to be made from his family compound in the Bab al-Azizia military barracks in southern Tripoli,[17] Gaddafi blamed foreign powers and hallucinogens being forced on the protesters for the unrest.[18] He rejected stepping down, saying he had no official position from which he could step down, and stated that he would "die as martyr". The scenery of the speech indicated that Gaddafi was in Libya.[19][17]
  • In his hour-long speech, he blamed the uprising on "Islamists", and then warned that an "Islamic emirate" has already been set up in Al Bayda and Derna, where he threatened the use of extreme force and genocide-like tactics, to stop the Islamfication of Libya. Gaddafi vowed to fight on and die a "martyr" on Libyan soil. He then called on his supporters to take back the streets on the 23rd from protesters and tribal rebels, who were demanding that he step down. He also went on to state that he had "not yet ordered the use of force", and warned viewers that "when I do, everything will burn".[20]
  • Gaddafi vowed to fight his opponents "until the last drop of his blood had been spilt" rather than step down, describing anti-regime protesters as "rats" and "mercenaries" working for foreign states and corporate agendas. Gaddafi said the rioting urban youths that were opposed to his rule were manipulated by others who gave them drugs and who were trying to turn Libya into an Islamic state.[21] (In earlier speeches he blamed "Zionists" for the riots.)[20] Furthermore, he threatened a Tiananmen-style crackdown.[22] The speech would later be parodied in a viral YouTube video entitled Zenga Zenga.[23]
  • Abdul Fatah Younis, who held the position of top general and interior minister, escaped from house arrest, resigned, and called for the army and police to fight Gaddafi and his regime. Until his resignation, General Younis was regarded as the second most powerful man in Libya.[11]
  • Human Rights Watch said that at least 233 people had been killed up to 22 February.[24]
  • By nighttime, the Arab League had suspended the Libyan delegation from meetings until the Libyan people were safe.[21]

23 February[edit]

A young Libyan carrying King Idris's photograph during a protest in Benghazi on 23 February 2011.
  • UK Foreign Secretary Hague said in a press release that there were "many indications of the structure of the State collapsing in Libya". He also urged the Libyan state to listen to people's demands.[20] Luxembourger Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn called the situation in Libya a genocide and called for massive intervention from the international community. He argued a resolution was needed allowing control of Libyan airspace so as to stop mercenaries entering Libya. He called Gaddafi a "sick and dangerous" "tyrant".[25]
  • Peru fully severed diplomatic ties with Libya's government[20] and the African Union conducted a security meeting on the rapidly changing situation in Libya. The European Union agreed in principle to impose sanctions, the form of which to be decided the following Friday, and the Dutch government met in emergency session to consider freezing billions of euros of assets invested by Tamoil, the Libyan government's oil company.[26]
  • The Warfalla, the largest of the numerous tribes in Libya, joined calls from other tribes for Gaddafi to stand down.[20]
  • Tripoli's streets were deserted after Gaddafi urged attacks on protesters, but Tobruk was still full of protesters. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said there were credible reports that about 1,000 people have been killed in Libya's week-old rebellion. Frattini also confirmed that the