This is not the first time that Syria has been automatically blamed for the assassination.
I will briefly rehash. The first assassination was of a Kurdish leader. This was done to stir the Kurds up against the Syrian government. It didn't work.
I covered that in this post: Assassination in Syria- Who really benefits?
This most recent assassination doesn't appear to have had any connection to Syria. Other then the connections being spun by Saad Hariri & Walid Jumblatt.
Mr Hariri & Walid Jumblatt seem to be creating a narrative. The narrative seems disconnected from the reality on the ground. This assassination does not benefit Syria. This assassination does benefit other players in the region.
Fears grew over the stability of north Lebanon Sunday after soldiers shot dead a prominent anti-Assad Muslim preacher and a companion at a Lebanese Army checkpoint in Akkar, triggering a wave of anger in several parts of the country.
The gravity of the incident, which quickly led to the Army withdrawing from the Akkar region and opening an investigation, prompted leaders on both sides of the political divide to call for calm and restraint to prevent the country from sliding into sectarian strife as a result of a spillover of the 15-month-old uprising in neighboring Syria.
Sheikh Ahmad Abdul-Wahed and his companion, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein al-Mereb, were killed at an Army checkpoint in Kwaikhat
The Lebanese army took seemed to be willing to hold itself to account, for the incident, not the blame for it, just willing to investigate. The fact that they did so quickly, even before investigating what happens, tells us this was done for political expediency. To keep the peace.
Statement from them:
“While expressing its deep regret over the death of the two victims and extending its heartfelt feeling of solidarity and condolences to their relatives, the Army Command points out that it immediately formed an investigation committee of senior military police officers under the supervision of the relevant judiciary,” it added.
The Lebanese Army is not saying, we are responsible. They are saying were sorry this happened and we are looking into it.
Shortly after the incident, the Army pulled out its military vehicles from Akkar and returned to its barracks in the village of Qobeiyat in a move aimed at avoiding frictions with the slain preacher’s supporters as gunmen were seen in the towns of Bireh, Bebnin, Halba, Aboudieh and Beruqayel.
Religious figures called for a general strike Monday to protest over the killings. The opposition Future Movement voiced its support for the strike.
This is where the narrative of Syrian involvement comes into play:
Former premier Saad Hariri, leader of the Future Movement, condemned the killings and urged residents in Akkar to stay calm and avoid the trap of strife.“It is clear there is a plan to destabilize some Lebanese regions and stir up trouble in order to serve the Syrian regime and its tools,” Hariri said in a statement.
Ah, Hariri.... Is it clear that there is a plan to destabilize Lebanon in service to the Syrian regime?
Or, Is it clear that Hariri is engaged in a plan to destabilize Lebanon for his own political gain?
And that of Saudi Arabia, Israel, NATO......He is in support of a national strike, right?
“We do not blame the Lebanese Army as a whole for the killing ... But it is clear that there are some infiltrators involved in this killing who want to use the [military] establishment and its symbol to import the Syrian regime’s crisis ... to Lebanon in a desperate attempt to save it from its inevitable doom,” Hariri added.
Is it clear that their are infiltrators from Syria? Not at all! How about Muslim Brotherhood? Salafists? Israelis? Saudis? Of course that is not the narrative that Hariri is promoting, though all those options are viable.
Here is how the killing was undertaken allegedly:
A man identified as Khaled Mereb, who claimed to be Abdel-Wahed’s chauffeur, told local media that an Army soldier (One soldier) had shot the preacher after the latter attempted to drive away from the checkpoint.
The chauffeur said the Army had been notified that the convoy would be crossing the checkpoint.
Upon arrival at the checkpoint, the man said several soldiers had waved them through, but one soldier demanded that the preacher step out of the car. (One soldier, after all the others had waved the preacher through, one soldier demanded the preacher get out of the car)
Following a verbal altercation with the soldier, the man said he stepped out of the vehicle, when Abdul-Wahed took the driver’s seat and turned the vehicle around to go back. The soldiers then fired at the vehicle, killing the sheikh, he added.(now it is multiple soldiers shooting at the car?)
How does this narrative get from an Army soldier shooting the preacher to multiple soldiers firing at the vehicle killing the preacher? Also, why does the chauffeur claim that the Sheik took the drivers seat, taking control of the car and drives it away? Was there really a chauffeur at all?
Some political leaders in this area have called for the return of the Syrian Army, interesting?
Not likely or viable. Syria has it's own problems.
"Rifaat Eid, the head of the Arab Democratic Party, which controls the Jabal Mohsen neighborhood, called last week for the return of the Syrian army to Tripoli."
Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt phoned Hariri to condemn the killing of Abdul-Wahed and his companion. He urged Akkar’s residents to be vigilant to avoid falling into “the traps set by the Syrian regime.”
Jumblatt and Hariri? Now there are two conspirators that need to be looked into! Interesting how they are on the same page with their narrative? No investigation. Nothing. But, both these fellows point their fingers at Syria???
An interesting little ending to this news:
A prominent Salafist in Tripoli told The Daily Star that calm would return to the city. “Roads will be re-opened in the next few hours, calm will return, and authorities will be given time to conduct their probe,” Bilal Dokmak said. He added that detained Islamist Shadi Mawlawi, the trigger of last week’s deadly clashes in Tripoli, would be released Tuesday.What is the connection between the killing of the Sheik and this detained Islamist?
In summary first of all one wonders if there was a check point? Or if the checkpoint was a fake one, set up by certain 'concerned' individuals? Manned, not by the Lebanese army, but by extremists masquerading as soldiers. Or was it a legitimate checkpoint with an infiltrator posing as a soldier, the lone soldier that disputed the passing of the Sheik.
Was this a political assassination between two opposing factions amongst the Islamist community of Salafi or Muslim Brotherhood?
Whatever this was? There is zero to indicate Syria was connected. Syria would have nothing to gain by undertaking this assassination. It is not to Syria's benefit to have instability on it's border.
IMO: this Islamist and fighting between factions is connected to the Sheiks killing-