Is Syria's Bashar Al Assad Somewhat Related to The Beirut Blast?

Published January 17th, 2021 - 09:15 GMT
A picture shows the scene of an explosion in Beirut on August 4, 2020. - A large explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday, an AFP correspondent said. The blast, which rattled entire buildings and broke glass, was felt in several parts of the city. Its exact location was unknown. (Photo by Anwar AMRO / AFP via Getty Images)
A picture shows the scene of an explosion in Beirut on August 4, 2020. - A large explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday, an AFP correspondent said. The blast, which rattled entire buildings and broke glass, was felt in several parts of the city. Its exact location was unknown. (Photo by Anwar AMRO / AFP via Getty Images)
Highlights
Savaro reportedly purchased 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that blew up.

An investigation into the blast that laid waste to Beirut has uncovered links between Bashar al-Assad and the firm which shipped the chemicals that exploded. 

Three figures with strong ties to the Syrian government were found to have shared a London office with Savaro Ltd, which reportedly purchased the 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that blew up in the Lebanese capital last August.

George Haswani and brothers Imad and Mudalal Khuri are Syrian-Russian nationals who have helped Assad consolidate power in the war-afflicted country. 

Their ties to the ammonium nitrate, which were drawn in a documentary seen by the Guardian, supposedly fuels suspicions the flammable cargo was always meant for the port of Beirut and not Mozambique, which was listed at its destination.

Haswani, Imad and Mudalal have all previously been accused by the US government of working hand in glove with the Assad regime.

In November 2015, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on Haswani, who it described as a 'Syrian businessman who serves as a middleman for oil purchases by the Syrian regime from ISIL'. 

In the same round of sanctions, Mudalal was also named and accused of attempting to ammonium nitrate in late 2013. In 2016, his brother Imad was sanctioned by the US for helping him with his dealings.

The new documentary by Lebanese filmmaker Firas Hatoum links the three men to Savaro through a shared London address at 10 Great Russell Street.

Companies House documents shows Savaro - which filed to deregister this week - used this address as its headquarters.  

Papers further reveal that Haswani's since dissolved oil company HESCO also operated out of one of the suites inside 10 Great Russell Street.

And, according to the Guardian, in his documentary Hatoum also claims Imad's now defunct company IK Petroleum shared an address with another London Savaro site.

The documentary's suggestion the Syrian government could be linked to the explosion was met with anger in Lebanon.

Beirut is still rebuilding from the wreckage of the blast, which killed more than 200 people and razed buildings.

In December Lebanon's prime minister Hassan Diab and three ex-ministers were charged with negligence over the catastrophic port explosion.  

Ali Hassan Khalil, a former finance minister and Youssef Fenianos and Ghazi Zaiter, two former public works ministers were charged.   

The four were charged with 'negligence and causing death to hundreds and injuries to thousands more' in the first such official indictment against a sitting prime minister in Lebanese history.


This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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