Seven senior Syrian officials, including President Bashar al-Assad’s brother and brother-in-law, are suspects in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, United Nations investigators said in a report likely to increase tensions between the U.S. and Syria.
Hariri, a five-time prime minister of Lebanon, was killed by a bomb Feb. 14.
“Many leads point directly towards Syrian security officials as being directly involved,” said the 54-page report prepared by a team led by German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis.
He said Assad’s brother, Maher, and brother-in-law Assef Shawkat plotted the assassination, along with five other Syrian officials named in the report. It doesn’t directly implicate Bashar-al-Assad. There was also evidence of Lebanese involvement in the assassination, according to the report.
Syria, which ended a 29-year military presence in Lebanon in April, has denied involvement. John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, said in a speech Oct. 14 that those shown to be involved in the assassination “should be dealt with very seriously.”
How seriously? According to :
Western nations are expected to try to bring Syria before the United Nations Security Council after a report implicated it in the killing of former Lebanese leader Rafik Hariri.
This will be an interesting test for the Security Council in the epoch of putative UN reform. If Bashar Assad remains in office, they will have disgraced themselves.