July 15, 2011: The US officially recognizes the rebels as the legitimate rulers of Libya.

Clinton meets with TNC Executive Bureau Chairman Mahmoud Jibril on July 15, 2011. Credit: US Embassy of Libya)

Clinton meets with TNC Executive Bureau Chairman Mahmoud Jibril on July 15, 2011. Credit: US Embassy of Libya)

Clinton announces that the US recognizes the rebel Transitional National Council (TNC) as “the legitimate governing authority for Libya,” and says long-time Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government “no longer [has] legitimate authority.” The rebels are still fighting a civil war in Libya, supported by the US and NATO, but are gaining ground against el-Qaddafi’s forces. Clinton says US recognition should help the rebels gain more funding. (US Department of State, 7/15/2011)