Tripoli (pop. 990,700), capital and largest city of Libya, located in northwest Libya on an arm of the Mediterranean Sea. Founded in the 600s B.C. by the Phoenicians, it was captured by the Romans in the 1st century B.C. Control passed to the Vandals in the 4th century A.D., the Arabs in the 7th century, the Spanish in 1510, and the Ottoman Turks in 1551. In the early 1800s, Tripoli was a stronghold for the Barbary Pirates, who attacked ships in the Mediterranean and exacted money from their captains in exchange for their freedom. The United States went to war against Tripoli (1801–05) to end the practice. Tripoli was conquered by Italy in 1911 and remained in Italian hands until freed by the Allies during World War II. Today it is a major manufacturing center, shipping port, and oil-refining center. The city was bombed by the United States in 1986 as a result of Libya's alleged condoning of terrorist activities.
See also: Libya.