Assad denies country behind killing of Lebanese MPs

President says killings benefit Syria's foes in Lebanon and not Syria.

October 2, 2007 18:42
2 minute read.
Assad denies country behind killing of Lebanese MPs

assad 224.88. (photo credit: AP [file])


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Syrian President Bashar Assad rejected accusations that Syria orchestrated the killing of Lebanese politicians opposed to his country and said Tuesday that the assassinations were contrary to the interests of Damascus. Assad said his country still retains some influence in its Western neighbor but told the British Broadcasting Corp. that Syria had left Lebanon. The killings, he said, were benefiting his country's foes in Lebanon and not Syria. "Of course, we have influence. This is normal," Assad said. "But having influence is different from committing crimes in Lebanon." "This is not in our interest," he added. "What did we get from killing those people? That's the question that we have to ask." Assad said people should ask if Syria benefited from the killings. "Actually no. The opposite is happening. We are accused and the other side, the people who are described as anti-Syrians, they get the benefit from that, not Syria," Assad said. Anti-Syrian groups that control the government claim Damascus is behind a two-year killing spree that has left a number of anti-Syrian politicians and public figures dead. The latest was on Sept. 19 when deputy Antoine Ghanem was killed in a Beirut car bombing a week before Parliament was to meet for the election of a new president. The same groups also claim Syria aims to destabilize their country following their forced withdrawal in 2005, following the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Syria, which had troops in Lebanon for 29 years, was accused by many of being responsible for Hariri's death - a claim Syria denies. Those groups allege Syria wants to bring down US-backed Prime Minister Fuad Saniora's government by killing off lawmakers and force an end to his slim Parliamentary majority. They allege Ghanem was killed to prevent the anti-Syrian majority from electing a president. The Iran and Syria-backed Hezbollah and its allies in the opposition blocked a parliamentary session from electing a president on Sept. 25. The 128-seat unicameral parliament will try again on October 23 to elect a head of state to replace President Emile Lahoud, who leaves office November 24. If Parliament fails to elect a president, Lebanon could face a power vacuum and the prospects of two rival governments - the current Saniora administration and another one appointed by Lahoud, who is backed by the opposition. A division of the administration in the last two years of the 1975-90 civil war led to army units loyal to each side fighting each other.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

July 22, 2019
Iran uses criminal inmates to torment political prisoners - Report


Cookie Settings