Who killed Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan? Following the assassination last Friday, Druze leader Walid Jumblatt blamed Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. However, Jumblatt refrained from addressing “whether Hezbollah or any others [were] behind the assassination, because we would be doing what Assad wants us to do.” Jumblatt’s concern is understandable. His priority is to avoid internal Sunni-Shiite sectarian tension and to keep the security situation in Lebanon under control. However, Hassan’s assassination reaches far beyond Lebanon. There’s a compelling case to be made that the elimination of the influential security chief is part of Iran’s contingency planning, from Iraq to Lebanon, to consolidate Tehran’s gains, especially in the event they lose their Syrian ally.  Like Jumblatt, both the Lebanese president and prime minister linked the murder to Hassan’s recent arrest of former minister, and close friend of Assad’s, Michel Samaha. The former minister was caught red handed and charged with plotting terrorist bombings on orders from Assad. As a result, Hassan received countless, explicit, death threats from Syria’s allies in Lebanon. Therefore, in light of his role in the Samaha case, it was easy to see Assad’s obvious motive. [Link]