Libyan–Egyptian War

The Libyan–Egyptian War was a short border war between Libya and Egypt in July 1977.

On the 21 July 1977, there were the first gun battles between troops on the border, followed by land and air strikes. On the 24 July the combatants agreed to a ceasefire under the mediation of the President of Algeria Houari Boumediène and the Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.

Libyan–Egyptian War
Part of the Arab Cold War

Map of Libya and Egypt
Date21-24 July 1977 (3 days)
Libyan–Egyptian border
Result Libyan invasion of Sallum repelled, return to status quo ante bellum[1][2]
Breakup of the Federation of Arab Republics
 Egypt  Libya
Commanders and leaders
Egypt Anwar Sadat Libya Muammar Gaddafi
3 divisions[3] 3 brigades
Casualties and losses
100 killed
4 MiG-21s destroyed
2 Su-20s destroyed[4]
400 killed & wounded
60 tanks destroyed
40 APCs destroyed
20 Mirage 5s destroyed
1 MiG-23s destroyed


Relations between the Libyan and the Egyptian government had been deteriorating ever since the end of Yom Kippur War from October 1973, due to Libyan opposition to President Anwar Sadat's peace policy as well as the breakdown of unification talks between the two governments. Frequent, politically-driven deportations of Egyptian migrants working in Libya also contributed to tense bilateral relations.[5] There is some proof that the Egyptian government was considering a war against Libya as early as 1974. On the 28 February 1974, during Henry Kissinger's visit to Egypt, President Sadat told him about such intentions and requested that pressure be put on the Israeli government not to launch an attack on Egypt in the event of its forces being occupied in war with Libya.[6] In addition, the Egyptian government had broken its military ties with Moscow, while the Libyan government kept that cooperation going. The Egyptian government also gave assistance to former RCC members Major Abd al Munim al Huni and Omar Muhayshi, who unsuccessfully tried to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi in 1975, and allowed them to reside in Egypt.

During 1976 relations were ebbing, as the Egyptian government claimed to have discovered a Libyan plot to overthrow the government in Cairo. On 26 January 1976, Egyptian Vice President Hosni Mubarak indicated in a talk with the US Ambassador Hermann Eilts that the Egyptian government intended to exploit internal problems in Libya to promote actions against Libya, but did not elaborate.[7] On 22 July 1976, the Libyan government made a public threat to break diplomatic relations with Cairo if Egyptian subversive actions continued.[8] On August 8, 1976, an explosion occurred in the bathroom of a government office in Tahrir Square in Cairo, injuring 14, and the Egyptian government and media claimed this was done by Libyan agents.[9] The Egyptian government also claimed to have arrested two Egyptian citizens trained by Libyan intelligence to perform sabotage within Egypt.[10] On the 23 August, an Egyptian passenger plane was hijacked by persons who reportedly worked with Libyan intelligence. They were captured by Egyptian authorities in an operation that ended without any casualties. In retaliation for accusations by the Egyptian government of Libyan complicity in the hijacking, the Libyan government ordered the closure of the Egyptian Consulate in Benghazi.[11]

The Libyan government claimed to have uncovered an Egyptian espionage network in Libya. US diplomatic circles viewed this tension as a sign of Libyan intentions to go to war against Egypt, and one diplomat observed:

LARG [Libyan Arab Republic Government] anticipates military attack from Egypt, which it hopes to exploit and cause overthrow of Sadat.[12]

Throughout 1976 the Egyptian government was concentrating troops along the Libyan border. It enjoyed the support of the US government, who viewed Libya negatively, and was promised by Washington that no move in US-Libyan relations was to be made without consultation with Cairo.[13][14][15] Policy experts in the US and Britain assessed that Sadat was planning an attack on Libya in order to overthrow Gaddafi.[16] Relations kept deteriorating, and in early May 1977 Sadat turned down an American request to engage in reconciliation talks with the Libyan government.[17]

Tensions between the two countries had increased during April and May 1977, as demonstrators attacked each other's embassies. In June 1977, Libyan leader Gaddafi ordered the 225,000 Egyptians working and living in Libya to leave the country by July 1 or face arrest.

Course of the war

On the 21 July 1977 the Libyan 9th Tank Battalion carried out a raid on Sallum. The unit was ambushed in the town and subjected to a well-planned counterattack by an Egyptian mechanised division, which inflicted fifty percent casualties on the 9th Tank Battalion. The battalion subsequently retreated. A few Libyan Mirage 5 aircraft bombed nearby settlements, causing minimal damage. The Egyptians claimed to have shot down two of them with anti-aircraft fire.[18]

Several hours later the Egyptians initiated a large counteroffensive. MiG-21s and Su-20s raided the Libyans' Gamal Abdel Nasser Airbase at Al Adm.[19]

Anwar Sadat and his generals ordered 3 divisions to head to the Libyan border when news of the advancing Libyan tanks reached them. The three divisions quickly beat back the Libyan brigades, destroying most of their equipment. The Egyptian Air Force and three divisions of the Egyptian Army stormed across the Libyan border and captured some key border towns. Libyan military bases in Al Adm (Gamal Abdel Nasser Airbase), Kufra and Umm Alayan were bombed by the Egyptian Air Force.

Other Arab states then asked Sadat not to launch a full-scale invasion of Libya (which Sadat and his generals allegedly planned on doing on the 26 July). Sadat heeded their call and forced Libya into a ceasefire. The Egyptian Army then withdrew from occupied territory. The conflict disrupted the border trade and smuggling activities of the Bedouins.[20]

Armistice and aftermath

Mediation by Algeria, and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat, finally led to a ceasefire. Sadat gave his forces instructions to stop all attacks on the 24 July 1977 and agreed to an armistice. Though the fighting stopped the next day, a rift between Arab states remained. Many conservative Arab governments had sympathy for Egypt and Sadat, while leftist and pro-Soviet Arab states endorsed Libya and Gaddafi.

An editorial in The New York Times summed up an American perspective of the war by quoting a Palestinian: "If the Arabs haven't got Israel to fight, they will be fighting each other."[21]

In August 1977, an agreement to exchange prisoners of war led to a relaxation of tension between the two states. After four days of fighting, Libyan casualties were 400 killed or wounded, while Egyptian casualties were roughly 100 killed.

See also


  1. ^ "Countrystudies - Libya and Arab Unity". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  2. ^ Cooper, Tom (13 November 2003). "Libyan Mirage-Order". Western & Northern Africa Database: Libya & Egypt, 1971-1979. Air Combat Information Group. Archived from the original on 21 March 2013.
  3. ^ Pollack 2004, p. 365.
  4. ^ Pollack 2004, p. 368.
  5. ^ Tsourapas, Gerasimos (2015). "The Politics of Egyptian Migration to Libya". Middle East Report and Information Project. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Transcript of talk between Henry Kissinger and Golda Meir, March 1, 1974" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 22, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  7. ^ "Hermann Eilts to Department of State, January 25, 1976". Retrieved 2011-06-09.
  8. ^ "Robert Carle (US Embassy in Tripoli) to Department of State, July 22, 1976". Retrieved 2011-06-09.
  9. ^ "Hermann Eilts (US Ambassador to Egypt) to Department of State, August 9, 1976". Retrieved 2011-06-09.
  10. ^ "Hermann Eilts to Department of State, August 11, 1976". Retrieved 2011-06-09.
  11. ^ "Herman Eilts to Secretary of State, August 25, 1976". Retrieved 2011-06-09.
  12. ^ "Robert Carle (US Chargé d'Affaires ad interim to Libya) to Department of State, August 26, 1976". Retrieved 2011-06-09.
  13. ^ "Robinson to the Embassy in Cairo, September 3, 1976". Retrieved 2011-06-09.
  14. ^ "Robinson to US Delegation and Secretary of State, December 29, 1976". Retrieved 2011-06-09.
  15. ^ "Robinson to the Embassy in Tripoli, December 31, 1976". Retrieved 2011-06-09.
  16. ^ "Spiers (US Embassy in London) to Department of State, October 19, 1976". Retrieved 2011-06-09.
  17. ^ Eilts to State Department, May 6, 1977
  18. ^ Pollack 2004, pp. 134–135.
  19. ^ Pollack 2004, p. 135.
  20. ^ Hüsken 2018, p. 47.
  21. ^ Marvine Howe, "The Arabs Can't Seem to Stop Fighting", New York Times, 24 July 1977, p. E2


1935 Yazidi revolt

The 1935 Yazidi revolt took place in Iraq in October 1935. The Iraqi government, under Yasin al-Hashimi, crushed a revolt by the Yazidi people of Jabal Sinjar against the imposition of conscription. The Iraqi army, led by Bakr Sidqi, reportedly killed over 200 Yazidi and imposed martial law throughout the region. Parallel revolts opposing conscription also broke out that year in the northern (Kurdish populated) and mid-Euphrates (majorly Shia populated) regions of Iraq.

The Yazidis of Jabal Sinjar constituted the majority of Iraqi Yazidi population - the third largest non-Muslim minority within the kingdom, and the largest ethno-religious group in the province of Mosul. In 1939, the region of Jabal Sinjar was once again put under military control, together with the Shekhan District.

Corrective Movement (Syria)

The Corrective Movement (Arabic: الحركة التصحيحية‎ al-Ḥaraka at-Taṣ'ḥīḥiya), also referred to as the Corrective Revolution or Glorious Corrective Movement, was a political movement in Syria, initiated by a coup d'état, led by General Hafez al-Assad on 13 November 1970. Al-Assad's program of reform, considered revolutionary in Syria, aimed to sustain and improve the "nationalist socialist line" of the state and the Ba'ath party. Al-Assad would rule Syria until his death in 2000, after which he was succeeded by his son Bashar al-Assad.

Egyptian Air Force

The Egyptian Air Force (EAF) (Arabic: القوات الجوية المصرية‎, El Qūwāt El Gawīyä El Maṣrīya), is the aviation branch of the Egyptian Armed Forces, is responsible for all airborne defence missions and operates all military aircraft, including those used in support of the Egyptian Army, Egyptian Navy and the Egyptian Air Defense Forces, created as a separate command in the 1970s, coordinates with the Air Force to integrate air and ground-based air defense operations. The EAF is headed by an Air Marshal (Lieutenant General equivalent). Currently, the commander of the Egyptian Air Force is Air Marshal Mohamed Abbas. The force's motto is 'Higher and higher for the sake of glory' (Arabic: إلى العلا في سبيل المجد‎, I‘la’ al-'olà fī sabīl al-magd).

The Egyptian Army Air Service was formed in 1932, and became an independent air force in 1937. It had little involvement in the Second World War. From 1948 to 1973 it took part, with generally mediocre results, in four separate wars with Israel, as well as the quasi-War of Attrition. It also supported the Egyptian Army during the North Yemen Civil War and the Libyan–Egyptian War of 1977. From 1977 to 2011 it saw virtually no combat, but has participated in numerous exercises, including Operation Bright Star. Since 1992 the EAF has also provided aviation support for the police and other national security organizations engaged in the war against terrorism. In recent years the Air Force has acted in the Sinai insurgency, the Second Libyan Civil War and the Intervention in the Yemen.

The EAF primary role is the air defence of the nation, with secondary tasks of strike and army support operations. The EAF provides official government transport and carries out international search-and- rescue operations in the desert, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Red Sea.

In 2014 the IISS estimated the total active manpower of the Egyptian Air Force at approximately 30,000 personnel, including 10,000 conscripts, with reserves of 20,000 personnel. This contrasts with an estimate of some 35,000 personnel, with most aircrew being long-term professionals, in 2010.

Egyptian Armed Forces

The Egyptian Armed Forces are the state military organisation responsible for the defense of Egypt. They consist of the Egyptian Army, Egyptian Navy, Egyptian Air Force and Egyptian Air Defense Command.In addition, Egypt maintains 397,000 paramilitary troops. The Central Security Forces comes under the control of the Ministry of Interior. The Border Guard Forces falls under the control of the Ministry of Defense.

The modern Egyptian armed forces have been involved in numerous crises and wars since independence, from the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Egyptian Revolution of 1952, Suez Crisis, North Yemen Civil War, Six-Day War, Nigerian Civil War, War of Attrition, Yom Kippur War, Egyptian bread riots, 1986 Egyptian conscripts riot, Libyan–Egyptian War, Gulf War, War on Terror, Egyptian Crisis, Second Libyan Civil War, War on ISIL and the Sinai insurgency.

Egyptian Army

The Egyptian Army or Egyptian Ground Forces (Arabic: القوات البرية المصرية‎ al-Quwwāt al-Barriyya al-Miṣriyya) is the largest service branch within the Egyptian Armed Forces. The modern army was established during the reign of Muhammad Ali Pasha (1805–1849), widely considered to be the "founder of modern Egypt". Its most significant engagements in the 20th century were in Egypt's five wars with the State of Israel (in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1967–1970, and 1973), one of which, the Suez Crisis of 1956, also saw it do combat with the armies of Britain, and France. The Egyptian army was also engaged heavily in the protracted North Yemen Civil War, and the brief Libyan-Egyptian War in July 1977. Its last major engagement was Operation Desert Storm, the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupation in 1991, in which the Egyptian army constituted the second-largest contingent of the allied forces.

As of 2014, the army has an estimated strength of 310,000 soldiers, of which, approximately 90,000–120,000 are professionals with the rest being conscripts.

Egyptian War

Egyptian War may refer to:

First Anglo-Egyptian war (1807)

Egyptian–Ottoman War (1831–33)

Egyptian–Ottoman War (1839–41)

Ethiopian–Egyptian War (1874–1876)

Anglo-Egyptian War (1882)

Libyan–Egyptian War (1977)

Israeli-Egyptian War

Egypt–Libya relations

After the neighboring countries of Egypt and Libya both gained independence in the early 1950s, Egypt–Libya relations were initially cooperative. Libya assisted Egypt in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. Later, tensions arose due to Egypt's rapprochement with the west. Following the 1977 Libyan–Egyptian War, relations were suspended for twelve years. However, since 1989 relations have steadily improved. With the progressive lifting of UN and US sanctions on Libya from 2003–2008, the two countries have been working together to jointly develop their oil and natural gas industries.

Libyan conflict

Libyan conflict may refer to:

2011 Libyan Civil War

Chadian–Libyan conflict

Libyan–Sudanese conflict

Libyan–Egyptian War

Libya–Sudan relations

The Libyan–Sudanese relations refers to the long historical relations between Libya and Sudan, both are Arab countries.

Conflict between Libya and Sudan has occurred intermittently since relations between the two countries began to deteriorate in 1972.

Between 1967 and 1971 Libya–Sudan relations had been based on a positive foreign policy relationship with both nations favoring solidarity with other Arab countries. However, during the early 1970s President Gaafar Nimeiry of Sudan began to pursue a foreign policy strategy which aligned Sudan with Western powers. Sudan's western focused policy conflicted with Libyan interests. This new Sudanese national interest would weaken relations between Sudan and Libya throughout the 1970s.Under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi Libya continued to pursue foreign policy directed along ideological and pragmatic lines. This resulted in several instances of conflict between the two nations between 1972 and 1976. In 1976 Sudan charged that Libya was involved in a terrorist plot against its government. This led to a severance of relations between the nations. In the late 1970s and 1980s Sudanese and Libyan foreign policy clashed over several regional conflicts. These included the Chadian–Libyan conflict, the Libyan–Egyptian War and Libyan support for Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. In these cases Libya's conflict with Sudan resulted from Gaddafi's regional goals of pan-Arabism and was heavily influenced by relations with Egypt. The Chadian–Libyan conflict in particular influenced the foreign policy of several African countries towards Libya. Pro-Libyan supporters were set against an anti-Libyan side which included Sudan and Egypt. Some sub-Saharan countries, such as Zaire, supported the anti-Libyan forces in Chad out of fear of a Libyan expansion. In 1986 Libya assisted the Mahdi government under Omar al-Bashir to assume power in Sudan, resuming relations between the two nations. After this point both nations employed markedly different foreign policy strategies. Sudan adopted a non-aligned course, trying to obtain western aid while building better relationships with Arab states. This included cooperative ties with Libya. Libya began to pursue stronger regional connections, with Gaddafi attempting to increase his influence in the African continent . This changed the nature of relations between the two nations.

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This is a list of conflicts in Africa arranged by country, both on the continent and associated islands, including wars between African nations, civil wars, and wars involving non-African nations that took place within Africa. It encompasses colonial wars, wars of independence, secessionist and separatist conflicts, major episodes of national violence (riots, massacres, etc.), and global conflicts in which Africa was a theatre of war.

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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-21; NATO reporting name: Fishbed) is a supersonic jet fighter and interceptor aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed "balalaika", from the aircraft's planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument or ołówek (English: pencil) by Polish pilots due to the shape of its fuselage. It was also nicknamed "Én bạc" (In English: Silver swallows) by North Vietnamese, now Vietnam People's Air Force, pilots and the Vietnamese people.

Approximately 60 countries over four continents have flown the MiG-21, and it still serves many nations six decades after its maiden flight. It made aviation records, became the most-produced supersonic jet aircraft in aviation history, the most-produced combat aircraft since the Korean War and previously the longest production run of a combat aircraft (now exceeded by both the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon).

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PDRY support for the NDF diminished under the Presidency of the less overtly militant Ali Nasir Muhammad, and PDRY support for the NDF finally ended in May 1982. The NDF was eventually defeated by a rejuvenated YAR Army in conjunction with the pro-government Islamic Front, allowing the YAR government to finally establish control over the North-South border region.


Sallum, also As Sallum or Sollum (Arabic: السلوم‎ Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [essælˈluːm]) is a village in Egypt, near the Mediterranean Sea, east of the border with Libya, and around 145 km (90 mi) from Tobruk.

Sallum is mainly a Bedouin community. It has little if any tourist activity or organized historical curiosities. It is a regional trading center.

Sallum was the ancient Roman port of Baranis, and there are some Roman wells still remaining in the area. It rests on the Northern coast of Egypt, but the location along the border with Libya, about as far west as one may travel in Egypt, means that it is out of the way of almost everything, with few attractions other than a World War II Commonwealth war cemetery. There is a local post office and a National Bank of Egypt branch.

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East Germany gained acceptance of its view from fellow Communist states, such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria, which all agreed not to normalise relations with West Germany until it recognised East German sovereignty.

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