Fears of Syria Spillover as Eight Slain in Beirut Bombing

Spy Chief Probing Information Minister Among the Slain

Eight people were killed today, including Lebanese intelligence agency chief Maj. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, in a car bomb blast against a Christian neighborhood in the capital city of Beirut. 78 others were also wounded.

Maj. Gen. Hassan’s role in past probes of Hezbollah and Syria, as well as his current role leading the investigation into Information Minister Michel Samaha’s putative ties to the Assad regime, has raised speculation that the attack may be related to the neighboring nation’s civil war.

The Sunni Hassan also has close ties to opposition leader Saad al-Hariri, who accused Assad of being responsible for the attack. Whether the plot originated abroad is unproven, and with Hassan investigating top political figures domestically he likely has plenty of enemies, but it seems likely that the attack is at the very least Syria motivated.

It may not be the last, as only a week ago the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the Sunni rebels fighting against Assad, threatened to launch attacks in Beirut as well, targeting the ruling Hezbollah faction. As Syria’s sectarian civil war continues to escalate out of control, it seems that the fighting is spilling over into Lebanon.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.