…220 Marines, 18 Sailors and three Soldiers, were killed and sixty Americans were injured when a truck bomb disguised as a water truck detonated outside the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon.
The 1983 Beirut barracks bombing was a major incident on October 23, 1983, during the Lebanese Civil War. Two truck bombs struck buildings in Beirut housing U.S. and French members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon, killing hundreds of soldiers, the majority being U.S. Marines. The blasts led to the withdrawal of the international peacekeeping force from Lebanon, where they had been stationed since the Israeli 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
On October 23 1983, around 6:20 am, a yellow Mercedes-Benz truck drove to Beirut International Airport, where the 1st Battalion 8th Marines, under the U.S. 2nd Marine Division of the United States Marine Corps, had set up its local headquarters. The truck had been substituted for a hijacked water delivery truck. The truck turned onto an access road leading to the Marines’ compound and circled a parking lot. The driver then accelerated and crashed through a barbed wire fence around the parking lot, passed between two sentry posts, crashed through a gate and barreled into the lobby of the Marine headquarters. The Marine sentries at the gate were operating under their rules of engagement, which made it very difficult to respond quickly to the truck. By the time the two sentries had locked, loaded, and shouldered their weapons, the truck was already inside the building’s entry way.