Copyright 2019 Hubbard Radio Washington DC, LLC. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.
The last Marines sent to Lebanon as part of a multinational peacekeeping force in 1982 left Beirut on this day in 1984. Of the 800 sent, about 250 Marines lost their lives in the conflict. Civil war erupted in Lebanon in 1975, with Palestinian and leftist Muslim guerrillas battling militias of the Christian Phalange Party, the Maronite Christian community and other groups. For years, Syrian, Israeli, and United Nations interventions failed to resolve the fighting and a multinational force was ordered to Beirut to help coordinate the Palestinian withdrawal. The first Marine to die in the mission was killed while defusing a bomb, while others were killed by snipers, a 1983 a suicide bomb at the U.S. embassy in Beirut, as well as from an explosives-packed truck which a terrorist drove into the Marine barracks — which alone killed 241 U.S. military personnel. That same morning, 58 French soldiers were killed in their barracks two miles away in a separate suicide terrorist attack. The identities of the embassy and barracks bombers were not determined, but they were suspected to be Shiite terrorists associated with Iran. After the barracks bombing, many questioned President Ronald Reagan’s strategy in Lebanon. On Oct. 23, 1983, Reagan vowed to keep the Marines in Lebanon but four more months later announced their withdrawal, leaving a small contingent to guard the US embassy in Beirut.
Copyright © 2020 Federal News Network. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.