Report: Al-Shaar Left Beirut to Avoid Interpol Arrest Warrantsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Syrian Interior Minister Mohammed al-Shaar, who was wounded in a bombing and was brought to Beirut for treatment a week ago, flew home after Lebanese authorities received information that international arrest warrants could be issued against him, a top security official said.
Al-Shaar left to Damascus on a private jet, officials at Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport said Tuesday.
He was wounded in a deadly attack on December 12 on the Syrian interior ministry in Damascus. The attack was claimed the next day by the jihadist al-Nusra Front.
The security official told The Associated Press that al-Shaar was rushed out of Beirut after Lebanese authorities received information that Interpol would issue warrants against him because of his role in the deadly crackdown against protesters in Syria.
Over the past week, some Lebanese officials and individuals had also called for al-Shaar's arrest for his role in a bloody 1986 assault in the Lebanese city of Tripoli.
Lebanese lawyer Tareq Shandab told Free Lebanon radio on Wednesday that the Lebanese judiciary allowed al-Shaar to flee despite a request he had made to prevent his departure.
The attorney had filed a lawsuit against the Syrian minister for ordering the Tripoli killings.
In the 1980s, al-Shaar was a top intelligence official in northern Lebanon when Syrian troops stormed Tripoli and crushed a Sunni group that supported Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasser Arafat.
Hundreds of people were killed in the battles, and since then, many in northern Lebanon have referred to al-Shaar as "the butcher of Tripoli."
"Lebanese officials contacted Syrian authorities, and that sped up his departure," said the security official, adding that a Lebanese medical team is expected to go to Damascus to continue al-Shaar's treatment there.
"If such arrest warrants are issued, Lebanese judicial authorities will have to arrest him, and this could be an embarrassment for the country."