A day after the most high-profile assassination in Lebanon in more than seven years, accusations over who’s responsible homed in on the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. Prime Minister Najib Mikati, announced Saturday that he plans to stay in power, despite having offered his resignation to appease those who claimed al-Assad was behind Friday’s October 19, 2012 car bombing that killed Lebanon’s intelligence chief Wissam al-Hassan.
Saad Hariri, a Lebanese opposition leader and former prime minister, told CNN that he had no doubt that the Syrian leader was responsible for Friday’s deadly strike. Hariri accused al-Assad of “killing his own people” and said “he will not think twice” about killing Lebanese in order to protect himself. “The message from Damascus today is anywhere you are, if you are against the regime from Lebanon, we will come and get you … No matter what you try to do, we will keep on assassinating the Lebanese,” said Hariri, who blames the 2005 assassination of his father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, on the Assad government.
Those accusations were echoed by Walid Jumblatt, a Druze politician and influential power broker.