The 1986 United States bombing of Libya, code-named Operation El Dorado Canyon, comprised air strikes by the United States against Libya on Tuesday, 15 April 1986. The attack was carried out by the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps via air strikes, in retaliation of the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing. There were 40 reported Libyan casualties, and one U.S. plane was shot down. One of the Libyan dead was a baby girl, who was reported to be Gaddafi’s daughter, Hanna Gaddafi. However, there were doubts as to whether she was really killed, or whether she really even existed.
The attack began at 0200 hours (Libyan time), and lasted about twelve minutes, with 60 tons of munitions dropped. Eighteen F-111 bombers supported by four EF-111 electronic countermeasures aircraft flying from the United Kingdom bombed Tripoli airfield, a frogman training center at a naval academy, and the Bab al-Azizia barracks in Tripoli. During the bombing of the Bab al-Azizia barracks, an American F-111 was shot down by a Libyan surface-to-air missile (SAM) over the Gulf of Sidra. Some bombs landed off-target, striking diplomatic and civilian sites in Tripoli, and narrowly missing the French embassy. Some Libyan soldiers abandoned their positions in fright and confusion, and officers were slow to give orders. Libyan anti-aircraft fire did not begin until after the planes had passed over their targets. Twenty-four A-6 Intruders and F/A-18 Hornets launched from aircraft carriers bombed radar and antiaircraft sites in Benghazi before bombing the Benina and Jamahiriya barracks.
Gaddafi announced that he had “won a spectacular military victory over the United States” and the country was officially renamed the “Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah”.
Gaddafi said reconciliation between Libya and the United States was impossible so long as Reagan was in the White House; of the president he said, “He is mad. He is foolish. He is an Israeli dog.” He said he had no plans to attack the United States or U.S. targets. He claimed that Reagan wanted to kill him, stating “Was Reagan trying to kill me? Of course. The attack was concentrated on my house and I was in my house”, he also described how he rescued his family. When asked that if he is in danger of losing power, he told “Really, these reports and writings are not true. As you can see I am fine, and there has been no change in our country.”
Content via –Jaglavak Military
Featured Image- Ground crew prepares a 48th Tactical Fighter Wing F-111F aircraft for an air strike on Libya – Wikimedia Commons