Last remaining seats to the Jpost 2017 Annual Conference! Get your special offer now

Analysis: Bomb could bring Syria strife to Lebanon

By
October 20, 2012 22:09

Bombing contains threat against anyone investigating Syria-Hezbollah, comes at peak of sectarian tensions.

Car bomb damage in Beirut, Lebanon.

Car bomb damage in Beirut, Lebanon 390. (photo credit:reuters)

The car-bomb assassination of Lebanese Sunni intelligence chief Wissam al-Hassan on Friday was a brazen assault on the anti-Syrian, anti- Hezbollah camp in Lebanon, which might just spread the Syrian civil war to Beirut and beyond.

Hassan was keen to work for an independent Lebanon, free from Iranian-Syrian influence, and free from Hezbollah’s shadow. He was popular among the March 14 Sunni-Christian bloc, a bitter rival of the Hezbollah-dominated, predominantly Shi’ite March 8 Movement.



Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.



Hassan was involved in at least two investigations of terror plots in Lebanon that lead directly back to Hezbollah and Syria. The first is the 2005 car-bomb killing of Sunni former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. The second is an alleged bomb plot involving ex-Lebanese information minister Michel Samaha, who has been under arrest since August on suspicion of planning to plant bombs in northern Lebanon on the orders of Damascus.

This isn’t the first time a Lebanese security figure hot on the trail of Hezbollah and Syria has met a violent end.

Lebanese police Capt. Wissam Eid was in the midst of an investigation into the Hariri murder. According to a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation report in 2010, Eid managed to ingeniously trace suspicious cellphone signals and use them to uncover Hezbollah teams that had allegedly been shadowing Hariri and had gone on to kill him.

Eid, keen to share his information with a UN investigations panel, was killed in a massive Beirut car bombing in 2008.

The pattern appears to be clear, as does the message behind the bombings.

All those involved in investigating Syrian-Hezbollah crimes in Lebanon are at risk.

Then, as now, Hezbollah and the Assad regime in Syria are at the top of the suspect list.

But this isn’t 2008. The Middle East is in the middle of an earthquake, and the old regional order has vanished.

In Syria, Sunnis have gone to war to rid their country of the Iranian-backed minority Alawite dictatorship. In Lebanon, Sunnis and many Christians, who are fed up with Hezbollah using Lebanon as its playground, are watching closely. When Bashar Assad falls, Hezbollah may find itself cornered and cut off from its Iranian master.

With sectarian tensions in Lebanon at a peak, Friday’s car bomb may spark enough anger among the fractured population to prompt a wider confrontation.
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Tags:
  • Hezbollah
  • Lebanon
  • Syria
  • sunni
  • beirut
  • Share this article via
    from around the web
    Related Content
    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (L) and Saudi King Salman
    April 25, 2017
    Analysis: With eyes on Washington, Cairo and Riyadh warm up ties, looks to cooperate

    By BEN LYNFIELD

    Top Stories
    Israel Weather
    • 12 - 27
      Beer Sheva
      14 - 23
      Tel Aviv - Yafo
    • 11 - 23
      Jerusalem
      12 - 23
      Haifa
    • 16 - 29
      Elat
      16 - 30
      Tiberias