Sunday, 14 August 2022
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Pierre Gemayel

Another Lebanese critic of Bashar al Assad is dead. A blast in Beirut Friday 27th December killed at least five people including Mohamad Chatah a former minister and advisor to the former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the Lebanese News Agency reported. Hatah was named Minister of Finance of the 70th Lebanese Government in July 2008. He is affiliated with the Hariri 'Future Movement' political group, although he officially remained an independent figure in Lebanese politics.

Chatah was very critical of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as Hezbollah, the Shia group based in the south of Beirut and the southern areas in Lebanon. He was also a leading figure in an international tribunal which was formed to look into the assassination of Rafiq al Hariri, the Lebanese former prime minister assassinated in 2005. Beirut has been hit by several deadly attacks over the past months, including twin suicide blasts in November that targeted the Iranian embassy.

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A UN Press Release SC/8372 dated 29th April 2005 boasted that Syria had notified the UN formally on 26th April 2005 that it had withdrawn all of its troops, military assets and intelligence apparatus from Lebanon . The UN described the date the withdrawal was completed an historic day for the Syrian and Lebanese peoples, and for the Middle East. Syria was implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1559. So far so good but what the press release did not say and the UN did not know was that Syrian intelligence operatives, secret agents and local collaborators like Hezbollah stayed put.

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