According to Lebanese media sources a Lebanese Judge has indicted two men for planning to assassinate Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt at the behest of a Syrian intelligence agent.
In May 2015 Walid Jumblatt testified before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) at The Hague which is investigating the assassination in 2005 of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
Jumblatt and Hariri were close political allies and Jumblatt has had a tumultuous relationship with the Syrian leadership for years, worsened by the assassination of Hariri and the subsequent investigation.
His evidence to the tribunal was described as clear, straightforward and precise. He accused the Syrian regime, and more specifically Assad, for orchestrating the killing of Hariri.
Jumblatt is no stranger to the Syrian campaign of assassinations in Lebanon. His own father Kamal Jumblatt, was murdered in 1977, less than a year after the military intervention of Bashar al Assad’s father Hafez al-Assad’s army in Lebanon.
The Druze leader stressed in The Hague that the Syrian regime was behind the assassination of Hariri. He also referred to the series of “mysterious and sudden deaths” of senior Syrian officers. Jumblatt said these “political liquidations” specifically targeted the officers who served in Lebanon or were linked to the Lebanese file and who received their orders from Bashar al-Assad.
At least half a dozen Lebanese politicians and journalists were liquidated by Syrian agents including Samir Kassir a journalist killed on 2nd June 2005. George Hawi, a former Communist Party leader and anti-Syrian politician, was killed by a bomb planted under his car in June 2005. May Chidiac, prominent TV anchor-woman, of the leading anti-Syrian TV station LBC lost an arm and a leg from a bomb placed under her car in the same year. Pierre Gemayel, the industry minister and a prominent Christian politician, was shot dead by gunmen in a Beirut suburb the following year.
The Head of Lebanon’s internal intelligence Wissam al- Hassan was murdered in 2012. In December 2013 Mohamad Chatah, a fierce critic of Assad, was killed along with at least 4 others. Chatah, a Sunni Muslim, opposed to Hezbollah’s political and military role in Lebanon, was on his way to attend a meeting when the explosion occurred.
The common link between these victims and many others was that all of them were opposed to the Syrian regime.
Many observers in the Middle East, believe that the Syrian regime will continue its campaign of assassinations in Lebanon to destabilize the country. It has tried but so far failed to destabilize Jordan and Turkey.