Benjamin Lowy

EDITORIAL: LIBYA | REVOLUTION: Libya | Revolution

Following the uprising in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia, Libyan civilians orchestrated a massive uprising against the 42 year-old reign of strongman Muammar Gaddafi. What began as simple protests, erupted into the most violent and long lasting uprisings of the Arab Spring movement, blossoming into a civil war that has embroiled the United States, NATO, and the International Criminal Court.

These images were made from the front lines of the Libyan Rebel movement in March 2011 for GQ Magazine.

Libyan rebels celebrate their revolution in a square outside the de facto headquarters for the Libyan Revolutionary Council in Bengazi.
  
A crowd of Libyans burn a photograph of Muammar Gaddafi.
  
Libyan rebels and Bengazi residents celebrate the passing of a UN resolution calling for a no-fly-zone over Libyan airspace, and their belief of dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s imminent demise.
     
  
A massive plume of smoke rises from the site of a crashed rebel military jet that was mistakenly shot down by friendly fire while Pro-Gaddafi forces shelled the city of Bengazi.
  
Several torched cars lie in front of the burnt out remains of the Katiba, a Libyan government military complex in Bengazi, where the Libyan revolution began.
  
The bodies of civilian and rebel casualties are stored in the Jala Hospital morgue in Bengazi.
     
  
Grieving, a casket bearing relative enters the Jala Hospital morgue in tears to collect the body of a civilian killed by Pro-Gaddafi forces.
  
A Libyan rebel fires a mounted machine gun towads pro-Gaddafi forces.
  
Libyan rebels take cover behind a sand berm as pro-Gaddafi forces shell their position on the outskirts of Ajdabiya.
     
  
Libyan rebels run across the open plain of the desert during a battle with pro-Gaddafi forces.
  
A Libyan man screams “God is Great,” during a funeral procession in Bengazi.
  
A grieving family member bids farewell during a ritual to clean and dress the body of their loved one prior to burial.
     
  
A morgue attendant closes the body bag of a killed rebel solider.
  
Libyan civilians walk and climb on the rubble of destroyed pro-Gaddafi army vehicles following NATO airstrikes.
  
A Libyan rebel smokes amidst the rubble of destroy pro-Gaddafi army vehicles.
     
  
A civilian takes cover as a Libyan rebel fires towards Gaddafi loyalist forces on the outskirts of Ajdabiya.
  
Libyan rebels take cover from behind a sand berm as pro-Gaddafi forces shell their position.
  
A Libyan rebel armed with an RPG, runs across the open desert during a battle with Gaddafi loyalist forces.
     
  
Libyan rebels watch tracers and anti-aircraft rounds fly across the evening sky at pro-Gaddafi forces.
  
The charred body of a pro-Gaddafi soldier lies sprawled on top of a destroyed loyalist army vehicle along the road to Ajdabiya.
  
Libyan rebel soldiers stands along a barren strech of seacoast road following a rebel retreat from Bin Jawad.
     
  
A Libyan rebel soldier hold a Chadian
  
A wounded rebel whispers to his comrade while being treated in the Ras Lanuf hospital.
  
A hospital strecher after a battle between Rebels and Gaddafi soldiers.
     
  
Experienced frontline rebel soldiers man the last checkpoint leading to Gaddafi forces, somewhere between Bin Jawad and Ras Lanuf.
  
Rebel soldiers try to rally their comrades with a cry of
  
The bodies of Pro-Gaddafi Libyan Army soldiers, killed during battle, are stored in the Jala Hospital morgue. Many are wearing civilian clothes under their army uniforms, raising speculation that they hoped to blend into the civilian populace following the battle.
     
  
Libyan rebels pray in the desert sand near the front line in Bin Jawad.
  
Surprised by a massive mortar and artillery attack, Rebel soldiers flee a flanking Gaddafi loyalist ambush.
  
Packed into the back of a rebel truck, soldiers flee a Gaddafi loyalist ambush.
     
  
A rebel fighter urges calm and signals victory during a massive volley of artillery and mortars.
  
Libyan civilians flee an anticipated Gaddafi Loyalist attack on Ajdabiya.
  
A Libyan stands amidst the rubble of a war-ravaged city street in Brega.
     
  
An abandoned and firebombed Gaddafi tank sits on the side of the road leading from Bengazi to Ajdabiya.
  
A Libyan rebel watches the impact and explosion from both NATO ordinance and rebel anti-aircraft rounds.
  
While standing on a burned out loyalist tank, a Libyan celebrates the fall of Ajdabiya to rebel forces.