Tripoli, (Arabic: Tarabulus)Lebanon, a port on the Mediterranean Sea, about 45 miles (72 km) northeast of Beirut. The city is the transshipping point and a refining center for crude petroleum brought by pipeline from Iraq. Small manufacturing plants produce foods, building materials, and simple consumer goods.
Tripoli was founded about 800 B.C. as the administrative center for three federated Phoenician cities: Tyre, Sidon, and Aradus. After coming under the rule of various empires, including the Seleucid, Roman, and Byzantine, it fell in 638 A.D. to Muslim Arabs. In 1109 Tripoli, then a flourishing city, was captured by the Crusaders after a five-year siege, during which its famed Islamic library was destroyed. The city was capital of a Crusader state until 1289, when it was captured and sacked by the Mameluke sultan of Egypt. The Ottoman Turks conquered the Mamelukes early in the 1500's and ruled Tripoli almost continuously until after World War I. The city became part of a French-mandated territory in 1920 and part of independent Lebanon after World War II.