Details/Information for Canadian Forces (CF) Operation Libya 1986

CF Overseas Operations have most often operated within the construct of an international mandate. As such, the International Information is presented first in order to provide the context of the Canadian Operation (displayed second). Eventually, all rotations associated with the particular Canadian operation will also be displayed.

Libya 1986

International Information

International Operation Name: Libya 1986

International Mission Name: Libya 1986

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name: Africa

Location: Libya

On 4 April 1986, Libyan agents, with the help of two East German women, manufactured a bomb following instructions from the Libyan Embassy in East Berlin. The next day the women crossed into West Berlin, planted the bomb in a discotheque known to be frequented by American soldiers, and left. The bomb detonated at 1:30 AM on 6 April, causing three deaths and over 200 injuries. The next day the Libyan Embassy in East Berlin notified Libyan intelligence headquarters in Tripoli of the mission. This and other messages were intercepted and decoded by the United States government.

In retaliation for this and other attacks organized by Libya, the United States government decided to attack Benghazi and Tripoli on the night of 15/16 April. Over 100 aircraft from the United States Navy and United States Air Force took part in the attack on military targets and terrorist training bases that started at 2:00 AM Libyan time and lasted about 12 minutes. One USAF F-111 was lost, while accurate Libyan casualty figures are not available.

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Canadian Forces (CF) Information (Libya 1986)

Canadian Task Force Name Mission Statement:

On order, to evacuate Canadian citizens in the wake of the American attacks on the night of 15/16 April 1986.

Mission Date: 17 April 1986 - 20 April 1986

CF Mission/Operation Notes:

In the aftermath of the attack, the Canadian government was concerned that foreigners might be targeted in Libya. Accordingly, three CC-130 Hercules from 426 Squadron, on training missions, where held up at CFB Lahr, Germany, pending a possible evacuation of Canadian citizens from Libya. After several days, the aircraft were allowed to continue on their training missions. Although no precise dates have been found, the best estimate is that the dates were in the period 17 to 20 April.