Tripoli fell under Ottoman domination in the 16th century and although in 1711 the Arab population secured some measure of independence, the country came under the direct rule of Turkey in 1835. In 1911 Italy occupied Tripoli and in 1912, by the Treaty of Ouchy, Turkey recognized the sovereignty of Italy in Tripoli. During the Second World War, the British army expelled the Italians and their German allies, and Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were placed under British, and Fezzan under French, military administration. This continued until 1950 under a UN directive. Libya became an independent, sovereign kingdom with the former Amir of Cyrenaica, Muhammad Idris al Senussi, as king on 24 Dec. 1951. King Idris was deposed in Sept. 1969 by a group of army officers, 12 of whom formed the Revolutionary Command Council which, chaired by Col. Muammar Qadhafi, proclaimed the Libyan Arab Republic. In 1977 the Revolutionary Command Council was superseded by a more democratic People’s Congress. Qadhafi remained head of state. Throughout the 1980s Libya had constant disagreements with its neighbours and its relations with the USA and other Western countries deteriorated, culminating in the US bombing of the capital in April 1987 to punish Qadhafi for his alleged support of international terrorism. A US trade embargo was enforced in 1986. In 1992 the UN imposed sanctions after Libya refused to surrender suspects in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie in Scotland. In April 1999 Libya handed over the two suspects to be tried in the Netherlands but under Scottish law. In Jan. 2001 Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi was sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of murder. The UN had suspended sanctions in 1999, but only formally lifted them in Sept. 2003.
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