The Libyan cities of Sitre, Sabha and Bani Walid were pounded with NATO bombs on Tuesday. The three cities make up the final bastions of Moammar Gahdafi's forces, and are the last tokens of a 42 year old regime.
Gadhafi is still in hiding, but rebels believe that they have him surrounded somewhere in Libya.
The anti-Gadhafi force is lead by interim government The National Transitional Council, which has already been recognized by almost 90 international governments, including France, the United States, Russia and China. Chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil recently met with world leaders in Paris to discuss the political and social future of Libya.
Here is a timeline of Gadhafi regime, from its fall to its foudning:
- Interpol issues a 'Red Notice' for deposed Gadhafi, as well as for his son Saif Al-islam Gadhafi and former director of military intelligence Abdullah Al-Senussi. The Red Notice is the most serious of seven different notices, and is the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use today.
- High ranking Gadhafi generals Mansour Dhao and air force commander Ali Sharif al-Rif, along with a number of other loyalist officials and Gadhafi's son Saadi, enter Niger, finding safe-harbor, at least temporarily. There is speculation that the convoy will move on to Burkina Faso.
- Gadhafi still missing. Despite habitual radio addresses insisting that he hasn't -- and will never -- leave Libya, some speculate that he may have escaped to Zimbabwe or Chad.
- Rebels storm Tripoli, and after a weekend of harsh fighting, take the capital. Gadhafi's last day in power is marked as Aug. 23, 2011.
- After their expulsion from Tripoli, three of Gadhafi's sons, his wife and his daughter escape to neighboring Algeria. Rebels call the family's refuge an act of aggression on the part of the Algerian government. Algeria closes the border immediately afterward.
- Rebel forces move through the country as former members of Gadhafi's government as well as some army units either join the anti-Gadhafi forces or defect.
- The International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant for Gadhafi, Saif al-Islam and al-Senussi for ordering troops to shot at unarmed protestors. If caught, the men could be extradited to The Hague for an international trial.
- NATO enters the Libyan revolution, offering only air-support to back the rebels on the ground. Airstrikes hit a number of important targets, and kill Gadhafi's son Saif al-Arab.
- National Transitional Council is established.
- International Criminal Court launches war crimes investigations.
- On Feb. 15, demonstrations begin in Benghazi.
- Thousands of people protest the Gadhafi regime in the city, and are soon met by government forces. Protestors are reportedly shot on Gadhafi's orders, and hundreds of people are thought to have been killed.
- The protests spread to Tripoli and then to other Libyan cities, where more demonstrators are killed. Saif al-Islam appears on state television and blames the violence and protests on foreign agents. Later, Gadhafi re-iterates the statement, saying the protestors are drug-fuel terrorists.
- Battle of Misrata begins and runs into May. Misrata is the third largest city in Libya, and the battle is the most symbolic besides the battle for Tripoli. Rebels are surrounded by loyalist forces and anywhere from 700 to 9,000 people are reportedly killed. With NATO's help, rebels break the pro-Gadhafi line and take control of the city and airbase.
- By the end of the month, protestors and rebels have control of Benghazi, Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, Misrata and Tobruk.
- Gadhafi makes amends with many Western nations, and begins an era of unprecedented diplomacy outside the Arab/African world.
- In 2004, U.S. politicians visit Libya for the first time under Gadhafi's authority. Later that year President George W. Bush ends the Libyan trade embargo. In 2006, the United States restores its full diplomatic ties with the country, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair also visits Gadhafi.
- In 2008, Italy compensates Libya with $5 billion for its practices during its colonial rule in first half of the 20th century. Gadhafi and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi become famous friends in the years that follow, and Gadhafi goes on 11 state visits to Italy.
- In 2009, Gadhafi makes his first-ever address to the United Nations General Assembly, a 90-minute speech that was described as a rambling diatribe by the New York Times. In the harangue, he called the Security Council the terror council and labeled it political feudalism for those who have a permanent seat.”
- Gadhafi survives a number of assassination attempts this decade, including an Army mutiny, an extremist attack that may have been supported by Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, and an attempted drive-by shooting.
- In December 1988, 270 people died when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. (Libya agreed to pay $2.7 billion in damages in 2003.)
Libyan citizens were also blamed for other bombings, including a 1980 attack on a dance club in West Berlin and the bombing of a French UTA airliner over Niger, which killed 170 people. U.S. bombs Libya in response.
- 1975 - The first edition of Gaddafi's three-part political philosophy text called The Green Book is published. Broken into sections titled The Solution of the Problem of Democracy, The Solution of the Economic Problem: Socialism and The Social Basis of the Third International Theory, the Green Book rejects the ideas of parliament, political parties and the democratic majority in exchange for direct democracy and popular committees.
- The Green Book becomes required reading for all Libyans.
- Gadhafi gives himself a number of titles, including Secretary General of the General People's Congress of Libya, Prime Minister of Libya and Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution of Libya. He disbands the Secretary General position in 1979, gives up the P.M. role, and keeps the Brotherly Leader position.
- Gadhafi and a group of military officers wrestle power from King Idris I in a bloodless coup, abolishing the Kingdom of Libya and the constitution and creating the Libyan Arab Republic. (Idris was out of the country at the time)
The 27-year-old, who had been raised in a Bedouin tent in the desert outside of Sirte, is now the leader of Libya.