Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, the head of Lebanon’s national police intelligence unit who was killed in a car bombing last Friday, gave The Washington Post a grim and prophetic assessment of the Syrian civil war on a visit to the U.S. late August.
From The Post:
Dictator Bashar al-Assad, he told us, still had a chance to outlast the rebellion against him, though “it will take a couple of years and more than 100,000 killed.” For the Assad regime, he added, “one of the solutions of the Syrian conflict is to move it outside Syria. He survives by making it a regional conflict.”
Top Lebanese officials accused Assad of doing just that when a car exploded in Beirut and killed Hassan, who in August exposed a plot of a pro-Assad former Lebanese minister that involved smuggling explosives into the country for a series of bombings.
Hassan was revered in Lebanon for leading the investigation that uncovered the alleged role by the Shiite group Hezbollah—which is closely ally to Assad—in the assassination of Sunni leader Saad Hariri’s father in 2005.
The Post adds that Hassan warned them that a drawn out conflict would lead “to sectarian war and a destroyed civil society” with the Syrian Army disintegrating “and after its collapse there will be chaos.”