U.S. Embassy Bombing, Beirut

The April 18, 1983, suicide bombing attack on the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killed 63 people in a blast so powerful it shook the U.S.S. Guadalcanal, anchored five miles away. The attack was followed by the bombing of U.S. Marine and French barracks in October of that year. The double horror of these disasters led to a drop in public support of the U.S. military presence in Lebanon and hastened the withdrawal of U.S. and Western European troops from the country.

The U.S. forces had initially entered war-torn Lebanon in August 1982 as part of a multinational peacekeeping force, which included French, Italian, and British personnel. The peacekeepers intended to negotiate a cease-fire between Lebanon and Israel, which had invaded the country two months prior. On the afternoon of April 18, a Chevrolet pickup truck, packed with about 2,000 pounds of ...

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