The United States has recalled its ambassador from Syria as a response to the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former prime minister of Lebanon. The bombing that killed Hariri in Beirut also killed 16 others and injured 137.
Supporters of Hariri have blamed the Syrian government—which has had a major military presence in Lebanon since the end of the Lebanese civil war in 1991—alternatively for the bombing or for security failures that allowed it to happen.
Syria has been under increasing pressure from Lebanon and the United States to divest itself from Lebanese affairs. U.S. State Department spokesperson Richard Boucher, in announcing the recall of Ambassador Margaret Scobey, questioned the continued presence of Syria’s troops in Lebanon.