Bashar al-Assad, 2005 News
president of Syria, faced international pressure to withdraw troops from Lebanon after the Feb. 14 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri. Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese took to the streets, protests demanding that Syria leave the country. The U.S., European Union, and the UN also urged Syria to withdraw. By the end of April, Assad had pulled all 14,000 Syrian troops out of Lebanon.