Lebanese PM Hariri says Damascus wants him killed

Hariri threatens to resignLebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri charged that the Syrian regime which he blames for his father’s assassination also wants him killed, in an interview published Thursday in French magazine Paris Match.

“I have a lot of enemies, extremists and the Syrian regime. The latter has issued a death sentence against me. They accuse me of interference in their country,” said Hariri, who was interviewed at his Beirut residence.

Hariri, who has made the same accusation in the past, says the regime in Syria was behind the 2005 assassination of his father, former premier Rafiq Hariri, in a car bombing on the Beirut seafront, a charge denied by Damascus.

At Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s request, Hariri has suspended his shock resignation announced from Riyadh on November 4 and returned to Beirut after a three-week absence.

He cited Iran’s “grip” on his country through Lebanon’s powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah and threats to his life as causes of his resignation which he has suspended pending political negotiations in Beirut. On the military victories of Bashar’s regime, Hariri told Paris Match: “He has not won. It’s president Putin and Rouhani who have won” with the military forces they had committed to the conflict in Syria.

Daily Sabah/AFP