Military Wiki
Military of Libya
Libyan National Army.png
Service branches Libyan Ground Forces
Libyan Air Force
Libyan Navy
Commander-in-Chief Nouri Abusahmain
Minister of Defense Abdullah Al-Thini
Chief of Defense Major General Abdulsalam Jad Allah Al-Salheen Al-Obaidi
Available for
military service
1,775,078[1] males, age 15–49,
1,714,194 females, age 15–49
Fit for
military service
1,511,144 males, age 15–49,
1,458,934 females, age 15–49
Reaching military
age annually
59,547 males,
57,070 females
Active personnel 35,000[2]

The Libyan National Army is the national armed force of Libya, comprising a ground army, an air force and a navy. It is currently being re-established by the Libyan government, as Libya's previous national army was defeated in the Libyan civil war and disbanded. As of May 2012, an estimated 35,000 personnel have joined its ranks.[2]

Structure of the National Army


The Libyan National Army was founded in 2011 by the National Transitional Council, after forces aligned to it defeated the previous Libyan Army and overthrew Muammar Gaddafi's regime. Supply depots and bases having been damaged during the civil war, the new army is faced with the challenge of having to rebuild much of the country's military infrastructure.[3] Yousef Mangoush was named as its first Chief of Staff on 2 January 2012 and the force saw its first major deployment on 23 February, when it was deployed to Kufra to intervene in a tribal conflict.[4]

In November 2011, the National Transitional Council begun the difficult process of restructuring the army, with military personnel who defected from the Gaddafi regime and former rebel fighters of the National Liberation Army forming the basis is the new Libyan Army. Major General Khalifa Belgacem Haftar was chosen as the overall commander of the new Libyan Army due to his military experience and loyalty to the revolution that overthrew Gaddafi.[5]

The Libyan Army only numbered "a few thousand" trained soldiers in November 2011, and was rapidly trying to train up new fighters who could keep the peace nationwide and deter rogue militias from acting without NTC orders, and was responsible for brokering a ceacefire on at least one occasion in November between warring militas from Zawiya and Al Maya.[6] On 1 December 2011, it was reported that the National Liberation Army was to integrate up to 50,000 former rebel fighters into the new Libyan national army and police forces, with the aid of French training, with long term aims to integrate as many as 200,000 fighters from the brigades that had fought against Gaddafi during the civil war.[7]

In December 2011, Italy agreed to provide training the Libyan Army as it attempted to reorganize in the aftermath of the civil war.[8][9]

Also in December, large numbers of former rebels were being given jobs in the new army, whilst the government also announced that they would be free to join the special forces and the navy too. According to Osama al-Juwali, the defence minister: "The idea is to inject new blood in the army which was marginalised by the tyrant (Gaddafi)"[10]

General Yousef Mangoush said on 5 January 2012 that Libya's new army faces major obstacles such as rebuilding bases destroyed during the conflict, as well as disarming militas that were not part of the new army. National Army commander General Khalifa Hifter said later that it could take between three and five years for Libya to field a capable enough army to protect its borders.[11]

On 7 May, Libya’s Defense Minister Mohammed al-Barghathi resigned on Tuesday due to a crisis caused by gunmen who have besieged two ministries for more than a week, a ministry official said. He later withdrew his resignation after Prime Minister Zeidan convinced him to stay.[12]


Whilst it is known to a degree what equipment the Libyan army uses, the exact numbers of the below equipment currently in use is not known.

Small arms


A variety of pickup/utility vehicles, called technicals and guntrucks, often Toyota and other makes, armed with a variety of different weapons, including heavy machineguns, grad rockets and anti aircraft guns.[17][18]


Armoured personnel carriers



See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website

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  2. 2.0 2.1 "In Libya, the Captors Have Become the Captive". The New York Times. 13 May 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  3. "Libya's new military chief to disarm former rebels". USA Today. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  4. "New Libya army flexes muscles to halt tribal fight". 23 February 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  5. 17 November 2011 (2011-11-17). "Libya: New Chief for Revamped National Army". Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  6. date = 11/21/11| New York Times| date = Libyas toughest test may be building an army
  7. 1/12/2011| France 24 | Libya to integrate 50,000 anti kadhafi fighters
  9. "Turkey to Train Libya’s Army « Shabab Libya". Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  10. "Former Libyan rebels offered military jobs". The Daily Telegraph. London. 26 December 2011. 
  11.|agency = Zeenews| date 05/01/12| access = 05/01/12| title = Libya army chief of staff wants to disarm fighters
  13. Exclusive (2011-05-17). "Brit held with SAS in Libya was spy". The Sun. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  14. "The Libyan Revolution One Year On: Carla’s Story". Shabab Libya. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
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  16. [1][dead link]
  17. "A rebel fighter celebrates as his comrades fire a rocket barrage toward Gaddafi forces west of Ajdabiyah, Libya, April 14, 2011.". Atlantic Council. 2011-04-14. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 "Libya: How the opposing sides are armed". BBC News. 2011-08-23. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  19. "Libya rebels make gains towards Tripoli". Channel 4 News. 2011-08-18. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  20. Jonathan Marcus (10 March 2011). "Gaddafi loyalists mount onslaught". BBC. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  21. "Libya: Rebels fight street battles in Zawiya". BBC News. 19 August 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  22. "Libyan Interim Forces Await Decision to Attack". 5 September 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  23. David Zucchino (2011-03-31). "Libya fighting: Libya rebels flee eastward by the hundreds". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  24. "Citizens of Benghazi Parade On A Captured Btr Apc". Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  25. "Who Are the Rebels Fighting Libyan Government Forces?". 2011-03-29. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  26. 26.0 26.1 "Libyan Conflict - Photos and Videos - Page 264". Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  27. Russians delivers armoured fighting vehicles
  28. Libya takes delivery of 49 NIMR 4x4 light tactical armoured vehicles -, February 25, 2013
  29. Libya has received 20 Italian-made Puma wheeled armoured vehicles -, March 3, 2013
  30. Libyan army has taken delivery of 200 HMMWV Humvees from United States -, 30 July 2013
  31. "Libya uprising: The battle on the road to Sirte". BBC News. 25 August 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  33. "‫قائد الطائره الذي رفض قصف بنغازي‬". YouTube. 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  34. [2][dead link]
  35. "Libya unrest: Benghazi revels in freedom from Gaddafi". BBC News. 2011-02-26. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 

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