• Narrow screen resolution
  • Wide screen resolution
  • Auto width resolution
  • Increase font size
  • Decrease font size
  • Default font size
  • default color
  • red color
  • green color

World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Friday
Apr 25th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Analysis arrow Why Wissam al-Hassan matters for the Middle East
Why Wissam al-Hassan matters for the Middle East PDF Print E-mail
Written by Max Fisher; Washington Post   
Friday, 19 October 2012

Lebanese security officers guard the site of a car blast in Beirut. (Maya Alleruzzo/AP)

Senior Lebanese security official Maj. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan was among those killed in this morning’s car bombing in Beirut, The Washington Post’s Liz Sly has confirmed. Hassan was an important figure in the country’s security establishment, and his death could have significant implications in Lebanon and beyond.

“This is a big, big, big event, and one cannot begin even to think through the repercussions,” a Lebanese political adviser told Sly. But begin we must, so here are the essential details on Hassan, his role in the region, and what his killing could mean if suspicion of Syrian involvement proves to be true.

• Enemy of Hezbollah: Hassan was “renowned,” Sly writes, for leading an investigation into Hezbollah’s alleged role in the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri. Former Israeli intelligence officer Michael Ross tweeted, “Hezbollah has wanted Wissam al-Hassan for a long time. #Syria just gave them the excuse.”

• Enemy of Syria: Hassan helped lead the politically disruptive arrest of Michel Samaha, a former Lebanese politician believed to have ties to the Syrian government, on charges of planning to detonate Syrian explosives in Lebanon. Al-Jazeera’s Rula Amin called Hassan “a key figure in supporting the armed opposition in Syria.”

• Hezbollah serving Syria at Lebanon’s peril: A report by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, released just yesterday, cited “credible” reports that Hezbollah, which is also a political party with seats in the Lebanese government, was fighting in Syria on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad. Ban warned that Hezbollah’s alleged militant activities in Syria “contradict and undermine the dissociation policy of the government of Lebanon, of which Hezbollah is a coalition member.” He added: “I am increasingly concerned that the increasing number of reports of activities in Syria by Hezbollah, a member of the governing coalition, could jeopardize this policy and ultimately Lebanon’s stability.”

• Sectarian tensions within Lebanese security services: Elias Muhanna, a Brown University professor and blogger on Lebanese politics, wrote after Samaha’s August arrest: “There seems to be a hidden war taking place between Lebanon’s military-intelligence branches. So far, there have been few public casualties of that war, but if the stakes keep rising as they did today, that may change rapidly.” He called it “a sectarian rumble looming in Lebanon’s security services.”

• Syrian war spreads: If speculation turns out to be accurate that the Syrian government was behind the blast, and that it killed Hassan intentionally, it would mark an escalation and a small degree of internationalization of the Syrian conflict. This would be a not-shocking but still geopolitically significant increase in the war’s impact on the broader region. This in turn risks increasing neighboring countries’ exposure to the conflict and thus their interest in controlling it. “I wonder how [Saudi Arabia] will react,” Brookings Doha director Salman Shaikh asked on Twitter. “I suspect regional proxy war just got a little hotter.” The stakes would seem to be rising.

Credit: WashingtonPost



 
< Prev   Next >

Naharnet - Lebanon

Nahar MidEast

In Memory

Rafik Hariri
Rafik HaririIn Memory of Rafik Hariri, he rebuilt Beirut, at the time of his brutal Assassination Lebanon witnessed the birth of the Cedars Revolution
Gebran Tueni
Gebran TueniIn Memory of Gebran Tueni One of the most Prominent founders of the Cedars Revolution
Sheikh Pierre Gemayel
Sheikh Pierre GemayelIn Memory of Sheikh Pierre Gemayel Another Prominent founder of the Cedars Revolution
George Hawi
George HawiIn Memory of George Hawi another Anti-Syrian who supported the formation of the Cedars Revolution
 

Naharnet

Now Latest

Statistics

Members: 2923
News: 3761
Web Links: 5
The Coming Revolution 
Advertiser links WCCR
Visit the World Council for the Cedars Revolution
Naharnet
Visit An Nahar English version on the Net
Future TV 
Al-Mustaqbal
An-Nahar