Nearing the Outskirts of Damascus?


According to an "Arab diplomatic official" cited today by the Arabic daily Al-Hayat, the Mehlis report on the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri will be quite powerful, even if it may not be the final word on what happened (link in Arabic).

The report of the international investigator Detlev Mehlis … which will be presented to the United Nations secretary general on October 21, and will be discussed in the Security Council on October 25, 'will not include final results that are 100% conclusive', but [the source] expected the report to reveal that the attack against … Hariri and his assassination were planned months ahead of its execution, and that this plan 'was institutional not the act of an individual.' He indicated that the report would direct accusations against members of the Syrian intelligence services, and it is expected that [Mehlis] will conclude that 'the orders came from a high level.'

This is the most explicit statement yet of what the UN investigators might say, and while reports suggest that Mehlis will be asking for an extension of his mandate until December 15, even a document that does not name all names but does mention Syrian involvement will be particularly grave for the regime of President Bashar Assad, which is behaving increasingly, and probably legitimately, as if it were mortally threatened.