Syrian regime blamed for Beirut bombing

Forensic inspectors examine the site of Friday’s explosion in downtown Beirut. Former Lebanese minister, Mohammad Chatah, was killed in the massive bomb blast, along with five others (Reuters)

A key faction of Syria’s opposition accused the Syrian regime, Iran and Hezbollah of being behind the bomb attack that took place on Friday in Beirut, killing a prominent Lebanese politician.

The car bomb that blew up in the Downtown district at the heart of the Lebanese capital killed Mohammad Chatah, a leading critic of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, along with five others.

“The murderers... are the same ones that kill and continue to kill Syrians in Qusayr, Qalamoun, Ghouta, Aleppo, Homs and Idlib,” said the Syrian National Council (SNC), the largest member of the umbrella National Coalition opposition grouping, in a statement issued overnight.

"They are undoubtedly the alliance between the Iranian and Syrian regimes and their agents in Lebanon led by the sectarian and fanatical militia Hezbollah," added the SNC statement.

Chatah, aged 63, was killed in Friday’s blast while heading to a meeting of Lebanon’s Western-backer March 14 coalition. The coalition supported the Sunni Muslim rebels in Syria.

Over 50 people were wounded and over 10 building badly damaged in the bombing, reported Lebanon’s state media.

Officials said the bombing was cause by 50-60 kilograms of explosives.

The March 14 coalition implied that Damascus and Hezbollah were behind the attack, but did not name them. “The criminal is the same, he who is thirsty for the blood of Syrians... he and his Lebanese allies,” it said.

Hezbollah, Lebanon’s powerful Shiite movement commented on the attack saying it was aimed at destroying “national unity.”

Hezbollah sent to troops to back Assad’s regime in its civil war against rebels who have been fighting for the ouster of his regime, since a 2011 crackdown on democracy protests.

“This bloody alliance... proves every day that it is the main source of terrorism and extremism which threatens the security and stability of the region,” said the SNC.

Syria’s conflict, which began in March 2011, took the lives of around 126,000 people, and forced millions to escape the terror and seek refuge in neighboring countries and abroad.

(With AFP)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42