The attack lasted about ten minutes. Several targets were hit and destroyed, but some civilian and diplomatic sites in Tripoli were struck as well, and the French embassy was reportedly only narrowly missed, when a number of bombs missed their intended targets.
After years of occasional skirmishes with Libya over Libyan territorial claims to the Gulf of Sidra, and years of vulnerability to Libyan-supported terrorism, especially the Abu Nidal group behind the Rome and Vienna airport attacks of December 27, 1985, the United States contemplated a military attack to send a message about support for international terrorism. In March 1986, the United States, asserting the 12-nautical-mile (22 km; 14 mi) limit to territorial waters recognized by the international community, sent a carrier task force to the region. Libya responded with aggressive counter-maneuver
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