BERLIN - A Hezbollah official said in a phone call intercepted by German intelligence that President Bashar Assad had made a mistake in ordering a poison gas attack last month, suggesting the Syrian leader's culpability, participants at a security briefing for German lawmakers said.

According to participants at a confidential meeting on Monday, attended by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, the head of the BND foreign intelligence agency told the lawmakers its indications of Assad's responsibility for the August 21 incident included an intercepted phone call believed to be between a high ranking member of the Hezbollah Lebanese Shi'ite militant group and the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

In the phone call, the Hezbollah official says Assad's order for the attack was a mistake and that he was losing his nerve, the participants reported the BND briefing as saying. Both Iran and Hezbollah support Assad.

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