February 15 & 16: The arrest of lawyer and human rights activist Fethi Tarbel sparks a riot in Benghazi, which spreads to Al Bayda, Quba, and Zintan.
February 17: Inspired by the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, a “Day of Rage” is declared by protesters. The protest takes place on the anniversary of a riot in front of Italy’s consulate in Benghazi in which security forces killed several protesters in 2006.
February 24: An anti-government militia seizes the central coastal city of Misrata, driving out pro-Gaddafi forces.
February 26-28: A series of sanctions and arms embargoes are imposed upon Colonel Gaddafi, his family, and his government, first by the UN Security Council then by the EU. The Security Council refers Gaddafi’s crackdown on protesters to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
February 27: The National Transitional Council (NTC) is formed by the anti-governmental forces to act as the “political face of the revolution”. It holds its first meeting on March 5 in Benghazi, which serves as the de facto capital of the newly formed opposition government. It is there that the Council declares itself to be the legitimate representatives of the Libyan people.
March 10: France is the first nation to recognise the NTC as the lawful government of Libya. Gaddafi severs diplomatic ties with France the next day.
March 16: Gaddafi sends forces to capture the rebel stronghold in Benghazi. “Everything will be over in 48 hours,” Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam tells euronews.
March 17: The UN Security Council gives permission to impose a “no-fly zone” over Libyan airspace. It also authorises military action to be taken for the protection of civilians from Gaddafi’s army.
March 19: The first air strikes are launched in Libya to impede the progress of Gaddafi’s forces on Benghazi.
March 28: Qatar becomes the first Arab nation to recognise the National Transitional Council (NTC).
March 30: Libyan Foreign Minister defects from Gaddafi’s government and flees to England.
April 30: A NATO-led air strike destroys a house in Tripoli, claiming the life of Gaddafi’s youngest son, Saif al-Arab, as well as three of the Colonel’s grandchildren.
June 27: Arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi are issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
July 15: The NTC is recognised by the US as the government of Libya during a conference in Turkey.
July 28: Abdel Fatah Younis dies under suspicious circumstances. Younis was Gaddafi’s interior minister before he defected on February 22 to become military commander for the rebels.
August 21: Rebel forces storm Tripoli and are met with minimal resistance. They capture the capital’s symbolic Green Square, renaming it Martyr’s Square. Initial reports say that three of Gaddafi’s sons were captured, including Saif al-Islam.
August 24: Saif al-Islam appears on state TV, disproving the rumours of his capture. He rallies supporters to drive back the rebels from the capital. Gaddafi’s Bab al-Azizya compound is stormed by rebels who destroy the former leader’s bastion as well as any symbols of his rule. Gaddafi is nowhere to be found and a 1.3 million dollar bounty is offered for his capture.
August 25: The hunt for the former dictator and his entourage continues as rebel forces advance on his home town of Sirte, hoping to negotiate a peaceful surrender. Gaddafi loyalists, however, are determined to continue fighting.
Libya: timeline of the conflict