Bashar Assad Entombed?


According to the Lebanese daily Al-Nahar, American officials have told the paper's correspondent in Washington that Syrian President Bashar Assad is not going to the UN General Assembly in New York this month "after the emergence of serious evidence showing that responsibility for [former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik] Hariri's assassination reached the peak of the Syrian [power] pyramid."

The unidentified officials apparently got this information after a series of briefings provided by the official investigating the assassination, Detlev Mehlis, while on his trip to UN headquarters. The top of the Syrian pyramid is, of course, Bashar, but also his brother Maher and his brother-in-law Assef Shawqat, the head of Military Intelligence. It has long been assumed in Beirut that only such a triumvirate could have decided to kill so major a person as Hariri. We'll have to see if Mehlis agrees.

An English-language summary of the piece is here, and the Arabic version is here.