Syria: Assassination ruined hopes of peace

Syria hints Israel responsible for Mughniyeh killing, says "whoever seeks peace does not act in terror."

Walid Moallem 248 88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Walid Moallem 248 88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Thursday said that Syria will "prove beyond any doubt" who is responsible for the assassination of Hizbullah arch-terrorist and operations officer Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus. "Syrian security forces are continuing investigations into this terrorist crime and we hope you will hear results soon," he said. "We as a state will show with full proof the party involved in this crime and who stands behind them." Speaking during a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki, Moallem described the killing of Mughniyeh, who has been implicated in a string of attacks against Americans, Israelis and Jews, among others, throughout the 1980s and 1990s, as a blow to peace. The assassination, he said, has destroyed "all hopes to revive the peace process" between Israel and Syria, hinting for the first time that he believed Israel might be involved. "Whoever seeks peace does not act in terror. Whoever seeks peace does not place a siege on the Gaza Strip while almost a million and a half Palestinians are struggling for their lives." For his part, Mottaki said that the matter of the assassination came up in his talks with Syrian president Bashar Assad and he said Israel was retaliating for its "losses" in the Second Lebanon War and "imagined it could exact a heavy price by assassinating one leader of the Lebanese resistance." Mouallem has also said Syria would sue the United States for providing Israel with weaponry that was used to kill Syrian citizens during the Second Lebanon War. "We will punish the United States," he said. "There are Syrians who were sacrificed during the Israeli war against Lebanon, and they will file a law suit against America, Which provided Israel with the weapons."