“Though he never said so explicitly, he [President Ronald Reagan] ended America’s military commitment to a strategic mistake that was peripheral to America’s interests. Three-and-a-half months after the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 U.S. military personnel — and after repeatedly pledging not to do so — Reagan ordered the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Lebanon.”
“Beirut wasn’t sensible and it never did serve a purpose. It was goofy from the beginning.”
General Colin Powell
The Beirut barracks bombings were terrorist attacks that occurred on October 23, 1983, in Beirut, Lebanon, during the Lebanese Civil War when two truck bombs struck separate buildings housing United States and French military forces—members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon (MNF)—killing 241 U.S. and 58 French servicemen, six civilians, and the two suicide bombers. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
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An obscure group calling itself ‘Islamic Jihad’ claimed responsibility for the bombings and that the bombings were aimed to get the MNF out of Lebanon. Five years later, the same organization will claim credit for the Lockerbie bombing [Pan Am 103].
The chain of command likely ran from the government of Iran; to Iran’s Ambassador to Syria, Ali Akbar Mohtashamipur, located in Damascus; to Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Hossein Dehghan in Beirut as the Iranians drew on assets in Lebanon.
Hezbollah, Iran, and Syria have continued to deny any involvement in any of the bombings, even though the Iranian government erected a monument in Tehran to commemorate the 1983 bombings and its “martyrs” in 2004.
Two suicide bombers detonated each of the truck bombs. In the attack on the building serving as a barracks for the 1st Battalion 8th Marines (Battalion Landing Team – BLT 1/8), the death toll were 220 Marines, 18 sailors, and three soldiers, making this incident the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Marine Corps since World War II’s Battle of Iwo Jima, the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Armed Forces since the first day of the Vietnam War’s Tet Offensive, the deadliest single terrorist attack on American citizens in general prior to the September 11 attacks, and the deadliest single terrorist attack on American citizens overseas.
Another 128 Americans were wounded in the blast. Thirteen later died of their injuries, and they are numbered among the total number who died.
An elderly Lebanese man, a custodian/vendor who was known to work and sleep in his concession stand next to the building, was also killed in the first blast.
The explosives used were later estimated to be equivalent to as much as 9,525 kg (21,000 pounds) of TNT. [Wikipedia]
The 1983 Beirut Barracks Bombings
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On this Day — The Beirut Barracks Bombings (October 23, 1983)