Bombing of Libya

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1st Gulf of Sidra – Gulf of Sidra (naval) – 1986 Berlin bombing – 1986 bombing of Libya – 2nd Gulf of Sidra

The United States bombing of Libya (code-named Operation El Dorado Canyon) comprised the joint United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps air-strikes against Libya on April 15, 1986. The attack was carried out in response to the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing.



After years of occasional skirmishes with Libya over Libyan territorial claims to the Gulf of Sidra, the United States contemplated a military attack to strike targets within Libyan land territory. In March 1986, the United States, asserting the 12-nautical-mile (22 km; 14 mi) limit to territorial waters recognized by the international community, sent a carrier task force to the region. Libya responded with aggressive counter-maneuvers on March 24 that led to the Gulf of Sidra incident. Less than two weeks later on April 5, a bomb exploded in a West Berlin disco, La Belle, killing two American servicemen and a Turkish woman and wounding 200 others. The United States claimed to have obtained cable transcripts from Libyan agents in East Germany involved in the attack.

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