Status: Controlled by Qaddafi.
Tripoli, which Qaddafi named the capital when he took power in 1969, remains one of the few cities under his control – yet even Tripoli has seen protests and fighting. There were reports of protests erupting in the capital Feb. 21 that may have continued on-and-off since then amid intimidation by Qaddafi’s forces. Qaddafi has made it clear he will spare no effort to maintain control of the capital, where he is believed to be hunkered down in the Bab al-Aziziya compound on the city outskirts with much of his family, closest advisers, and loyal troops. One of his many defiant speeches in recent days was delivered from a part of the barracks bombed by the US in 1986 – a symbol, to Qaddafi, of standing up to foreign forces.