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Sirte, also Surt, Sirt and Syrte (; Arabic: سرت, , Berber: Sert, French: Syrte, from ) is a city in Libya, and the capital of the Sirte District. It is the seat of some important national governmental institutions, and the birthplace of the current Libyan leader, Muammar al-Gaddafi in 1942. It is on the south coast of the Gulf of Sidra (ancient Syrtis Major, from which Sirte's name derives). Sirte lies halfway between Tripoli and Benghazi.


Sirte is built near the site of the ancient Phoenician city of Macomedes-Euphranta,Wallace, Jonathan; Wilkinson, Bill. Doing business with Libya, p. 197. Kogan Page Publishers, 2004. ISBN 9780749439927 which was an important link on the road along the Mediterranean Sea littoral. The region had no recognised administrative centre and was infested for centuries by bandits. In 1842 the Ottomans built a fortress at Marsa Zaafran which became known as Qasr Zaafran and later as Qasr Sert. It was around this fortification, which was taken over and repaired by the Italians in 1912, that the settlement of Sirte grew up.Goodchild, Richard George. Libyan studies: select papers of the late R. G. Goodchild, p. 136. P. Elek, 1976. ISBN 9780236176809Ham, Anthony. Libya, p. 121. Lonely Planet, 2007. ISBN 9781740594936 During the North African Campaign of the Second World War there were no noteworthy events in this...
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