Gulf of Sidra

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The Gulf of Sidra is a body of water off the coast of Libya, part of the Mediterranean Sea. It is sometimes called the Gulf of Sirte.

In 1973, citing historical sovereignty, Muammar al-Gaddafi claimed the Gulf as part of Libyan territorial waters, but this claim has not been recognized by most countries, including the United States. In the 80s, the US Navy held several naval exercises there, enforcing the international nature of the Gulf. This led to several confrontations between US and Libyan forces, including two small aerial battles in 1981 and 1989 (known as the Gulf of Sidra Incidents) and Operation Prairie Fire in 1986. [1]

The Gulf of Sidra is known for its large populations of bluefin tuna and is thought to be one of the last areas of the Mediterranean where the fish are still common, after decades of overfishing elsewhere.[2]

References

  1. Significant Events in U.S.-Libyan Relations
  2. The Global Fish Crisis: Still Waters at National Geographic

Further Reading

  • El Dorado Canyon: Reagan’s Undeclared War with Qaddafi, by Joseph T. Stanik, Naval Institute Press, 2003
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