Assad threatened the world as Mehlis submitted his final report on the Hariri assassination to Kof Annan on Dec. 11. He can no longer count on Russian veto against UN sanctions or Saudi support

In a special interview to the Russian TV station Rossiya, the Syrian president declared the Middle East and the whole world would suffer if Syria were subjected to UN sanctions. The next day, An Nahar publisher and lawmaker Gebran Tueni was murdered by a powerful car bomb in Beirut.
debkafile reports from its exclusive sources disclose that the US and France have jointly prepared the following plan of action to be pursued at the United Nations:
1. France has drafted a seven-point Security Council resolution voicing deep concern over Syria’s failure to fully cooperate with the UN inquiry in accordance with resolution 1636. The Hariri assassination is defined for the first time as an act of terror, a short step towards holding Damascus guilty of terrorism.
2. The US requests the inclusion in the draft of the phrase: “Syria has for the second time violated Security Council resolution 1636. Personal sanctions are proposed for the Syrian officers suspected by the UN panel of complicity in the Hariri murder plot, including a ban on travel and freeze on their overseas assets.
According to our sources, those two steps will be followed by three more:
— International arrest warrants against Syrian suspects and possibly and international court.
— Subpoenas to additional Syrian officers for questioning at UN headquarters in Vienna
—Detlev Mehlis, who intends to retire as head of the UN Hariri team after submitting his report to the Security Council on Dec. 15, will first to turn over to the Beirut authorities Hussam Taher Hussam, who fled to Syria and caused a sensation last week by alleging the UN had offered him a bribe to implicate Syrian officers. Mehlis now has the testimony of his girlfriend, who remained in Lebanon. She reports that she was present with Hussam at the scene of the assassination on the day of the crime, when a phone call came through from Col. Jam’a Jam’a, right hand of Gen. Rustum Ghazaleh, a senior suspect. He asked Hussam where he was. When Hussam said he was at the murder scene, Jama told him to get out fast because his life was in danger.
This collapse of Damascus’ attempt to discredit the UN probe is behind president Assad’s threatening statement to Russian TV.
debkafile‘s sources add that the threat is a symptom of his desperation after discovering that he can no longer count on a Russian veto vote against sanctions. The Syrian leader has also been let down by the Saudis. King Abdullah not only spurned Assad’s pleas to intercede on his behalf with Washington, but invited the enemy of his clan, the Lebanese Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt, for an official visit to Riyadh Saturday, Dec. 10.

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