Friday, February 18, 2005

Syrian Political Change

From Ha'aretz:
"Syrian President Bashar Assad replaced the chief of military intelligence with his brother-in-law on Friday, a Syrian official said. The new chief is the former deputy head of military intelligence, Brig. Gen. Asef Shawkat, 54.

"Shawkat is married to Assad's sister, Bushra. Shawkat is close to Assad and recently emerged as a top presidential adviser on security matters. Assad's move indicates that he is consolidating his hold on the security services. It is likely that Shawkat's appointment is intended to relay the message that Assad plans to tighten his control on what goes on in Lebanon, and not allow a further deterioration in the country's political situation."

This almost certainly points toward the "internal Syrian politics" school of thought regarding Hariri's assassination.


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