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Monday, January 10, 2011

Wikileaks: Hezbullah believed Syria liquidated Mughniyah

A dumped Wikileaks cable reports that Hezbullah believes that Syria was responsible for the liquidation of Imad Mughniyah.
Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Lebanon Abdel Aziz Khoja has informed U.S. diplomats in Beirut that Hizbullah believed the Syrians were responsible for Imad Mughniyeh's assassination in Damascus, according to a leaked cable.

No Syrian official was present at Mughniyeh's funeral in Beirut's southern suburbs the following day. Khoja said Iran was represented by its foreign minister who had come to calm down Hizbullah and keep it from taking action against Syria.

But according to the leaked documents, U.S. reports reveal Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime was shocked at the killing of Mughniyeh, a founder member of Hizbullah.

U.S. reports from February 2008, revealed by WikiLeaks, described how Assad's regime was shocked when Imad Mughniyeh was murdered by a bomb planted in his car.

Mughniyeh was wanted by the U.S., Israel, France and other governments.

"Syrian military intelligence and general intelligence directorate officials are currently engaged in an internecine struggle to blame each other for the breach of security that resulted in Mughniyeh's death," the U.S. embassy cable said.

Khoja said that another rumor was that Syria and Israel had made a deal to allow Mughniyeh to be killed, an Israeli objective.

According to U.S. diplomats, Mughniyeh's murder led to tensions between Syria and Iran, perhaps because Tehran shared Khoja's suspicion of Syrian complicity in the affair.

It took more than a year for Syrian-Iranian relations to improve, with a low-profile visit to Damascus in late 2009 by the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's (IRGC) elite al-Quds force, Qassem Suleimani, described by a Lebanese source as being at "the business end" of Hizbullah's military activities, The Guardian wrote. U.S. officials speculated that Suleimani's long absence was "perhaps a reflection of lingering tensions between Iran and Syria that erupted after the assassination of Mughniyeh".

It said that both the U.S. and Israel say explicitly that they want to weaken the links between Iran and its main Arab ally, Syria.
Hmmm. By the way, Mughniyah was also believed to be involved in the murder of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.

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