Withdrawal of the Syrian Army and Intelligence Services
The increasing demand that Syrian troops leave Lebanon gained momentum in the years following the Israeli withdrawal. Internationally, in September 2004, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1559, which called for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Lebanon. That same month, 29 Lebanese parliamentarians voted against a constitutional amendment that was designed to extend the mandate of President Emile Lahoud, a staunch ally of Syria.
The assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri sparked a series of mass demonstrations calling for the truth about his assassination and the withdrawal of the Syrian
Army. These were met by counter-demonstrations organized by Syria’s allies in Lebanon. This led to the resignation of the government, widely seen as favoring Syria’s hegemony
over Lebanon, and on April 26, 2005, the remaining 14,000 Syrian troops and the Syrian intelligence services left the country.