A well-connected friend in Beirut has more about today’s assassination. MP Walid Eido was among the closest allies of the Hariri family and their “bloc” in the current government of Prime Minister Siniora. He is considered to have been a close personal friend of Saad Hariri (current leader of the parliamentary majority of Siniora’s government) and Saad’s father, the assassinated former prime minister Rafik Hariri.
Walid Eido, his son, and several others were killed minutes after leaving the Sporting Club of west Beirut – a well-known haunt of the Hariris. Just after Eido and his entourage stepped into his car, a nearby car-bomb exploded, killing them instantly.
The circumstances of this well-executed assassination suggest the same level of planning, coordination, and sophistication evident in the murders of Rafik Hariri and the other leading Lebanese killed since early 2005 – a level of sophistication that would be normal for a sophisticated intelligence service such as that of Syria’s, but which would seem (for the moment) quite beyond the capabilities of the Fatah al-Islam – the group that has been clashing with the Lebanese Army, and setting off random (and largely ineffectual) bombs in and around Beirut for several weeks.
Meanwhile, there are indications that key Lebanese army units are moving west towards the Syrian frontier, headed for another large Palestinian area, this time in the northern Bekaa Valley.