Ronald Reagan: Foreign Policy

Middle East and North Africa

President Reagan faced the growing threat of terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa.

On the day of his inauguration in January 1981, Iran released the last of the American hostages it had held for 444 days. (President Carter’s inability to secure the hostages' release had been a major issue in the 1980 presidential campaign.)

Two years later, in April 1983, a suicide bomber blew up a van packed with explosives outside the US embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing seventeen Americans and forty-six others. Six months later, a suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden truck into US Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 242 Marines stationed there as peacekeepers in support of the Lebanese government. President Reagan withdrew US forces from Lebanon.

Source: Ronald Reagan: Foreign Policy
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