Lebanon lawyer sues Syria minister over Tripoli genocide

A Lebanese lawyer said he filed a lawsuit on Monday against Syrian Interior Minister Mohammed al-Shaar, accusing him of having ordered hundreds of killings in the northern city of Tripoli in 1986.

Lawyer Tareq Shandab said he filed the case as Shaar is currently undergoing treatment at the American University Hospital for light wounds from a December 12 suicide bomb attack on the interior ministry in Damascus.

The case accuses Shaar, who in 1986 was in charge of security in Tripoli, of “genocide, ethnic cleansing, political assassination and the killing of religious officials and children in Bab al-Tebbaneh, Tripoli, in 1986,” he told AFP.

It alleges that Shaar and his aides along with “criminal” Lebanese accomplices on Dec. 19, 1986 “killed and slaughtered more than 600 people from the Tebbaneh district.”

At the time, Lebanon was immersed in a bloody civil war that broke out in 1975 and left some 150,000 people dead over 15 years.

Syria dominated Lebanon politically and militarily for nearly 30 years until international pressure led Damascus to withdraw its troops shortly after the assassination of former premier Rafiq Hariri in 2005.

Al Arabiya/ AFP