Hani Hammoud testifies in front of the STL in the Hague, Tuesday, May 19, 2015. (The Daily Star/STL, HO)
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In the weeks before former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated, a "paranoid" Syrian regime was preparing for an imminent military attack against Syrian territories, according to Hani Hammoud, a media adviser to the late prime minister.Jaber, who had just returned from a trip to Damascus, had met several high-ranking Syrian officials including military intelligence officers Assef Shawkat and Ghazi Kannan.Jaber shared details about the unsettled atmosphere in Damascus at a lunch meeting with both Hammoud and Hariri on Jan. 10, 2005 . The Syrian regime, Jaber had said, was convinced that Hariri was complicit in the adoption of U.N. Security Resolution 1559 in September 2004 calling for the total withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon.Hammoud acknowledged Hariri was not-so-privately rooting for Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon.Hammoud smiled as they passed through a Syrian checkpoint.
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