FACT CHECK: No, NATO Did Not Invade Libya

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on X claims that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) invaded Libya and killed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.


Verdict: Misleading

NATO did not invade Libya but enforced a no-fly zone. While NATO did not kill Gaddafi, it did hit his convoy with airstrikes, which led to Libyan rebels finding and killing him.

Fact Check:

Libya said that oil production at its largest oilfield restarted Jan. 21 after a two week pause due to protesters blockading it, according to The Associated Press.

Social media users have been sharing claims that NATO invaded Libya and killed Gaddafi. One user wrote, “Even if Gaddafi was a beast like the western media told us. NATO had no right to invade any country and murder their president like a squirrel.”

These two claims, however, are misleading. The NATO intervention was not an invasion but an air and naval campaign in 2011. NATO intervened after the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973, which led to NATO nations leading an intervention against Gaddafi’s regime, according to the NATO website.

“In total, NATO and partner air assets had flown more than 26,000 sorties, an average of 120 sorties per day. Forty-two per cent of the sorties were strike sorties, which damaged or destroyed approximately 6,000 military targets. At its peak, OUP involved more than 8,000 servicemen and women, 21 NATO ships in the Mediterranean and more than 250 aircrafts of all types. By the end of the operation, NATO had conducted over 3,000 hailings at sea and almost 300 boardings for inspection, with 11 vessels denied transit to their next port of call,” NATO states on its website.

The campaign did not involve ground troops, though three Dutch Marines were captured after attempting an evacuation mission in February 2011, according to CBS News. NATO states on its website that “NATO air and sea assets begin taking military actions to protect civilians in Libya” began on March 31, 2011.

NATO did not kill Gaddafi. It did, though, hit his convoy with airstrikes when he was attempting to flee the town of Sirte, according to the Aviationist. Gaddafi was later killed by Libyan rebels, the outlet reported. (RELATED: No, Image Does Not Show Iranian Missile Strike On Pakistan)

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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