News24

Top Syrian envoy defects

2012-07-12 07:52

Baghdad - Syria's ambassador to Iraq Nawaf Fares has defected to the opposition and urged the army to turn its guns on the regime, becoming the most senior diplomat to abandon President Bashar Assad.

"I announce my defection from my post as representative of the Arab Syrian Republic in Iraq and my withdrawal from the ranks of the (ruling) Baath party," Fares said in a message aired on Al Jazeera TV on Wednesday and confirming earlier reports of his defection.

"I call on all free and worthy people in Syria, particularly in the military, to immediately rejoin the ranks of the revolution," he said, adding: "turn your cannons and your tanks towards the criminals in the regime who are killing the people".

He also called on fellow Baath party members to reject the regime, which he accused of using the party as "a tool to repress the people and their aspiration of freedom and dignity".

The disaffected diplomat submitted a letter to the Iraqi foreign ministry and will meet with Iraqi officials on Thursday, a diplomat said.

"They are going to discuss sending him to another country," the diplomat added.

'Tip of the iceberg'

In Washington, White House spokesperson Jay Carney told reporters: "There have been a number of high-level defections in recent days and weeks, and they are simply the tip of the iceberg.

"There have been many, many defections within the military leadership, within the government, and I think that is an indication of the fact that support for Assad is crumbling, internationally and internally. And that's a welcome development."

General Munaf Tlass is thus far the most influential military officer to have abandoned the Assad regime.

An officer in the elite Republican Guard charged with protecting the regime, he is the son of former defence minister Mustafa Tlass, a close friend of Assad's late father and predecessor, Hafez.

Pressure is mounting on Assad as Western powers drew up a 10-day sanctions ultimatum late on Wednesday.

At the United Nations, Britain, France, Germany and the United States submitted a draft text that would give Assad 10 days to implement UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's ceasefire plan or face tough new sanctions.


Comments
  • Masala Ramabulana - 2012-07-12 07:56

    How much did USA pay or promise to pay him

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-12 08:56

      Thirty pieces of silver!

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-07-12 09:45

      Gave him a conscience

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-12 10:10

      Fidel, ""thirty pieces of silver"" Not sure if you are getting desperate, but for sure , you are getting more childish by the day !!!!!!! ""turn your cannons and your tanks towards the criminals in the regime """"""who are killing the people""""". Is Nawaf Fares now also one of your foreign 'terrorists' ????

      ryan.a.smith.3958 - 2012-07-12 10:22

      and the General and other senior members in the army that defected. all Fidel's american bought terrorists. obviously them defecting had nothing to do with the fact that they couldn't stomach killing their fellow people any longer on behalf of the tyrant. *sarcasm*

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-12 10:39

      Politicians aren't beholden to any moral principle. They always hedge their bets and it's still yet to be seen whether these defectors have calculated correctly. Is it symbolic, yes it is!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-12 11:35

      Fidel, ""Politicians aren't beholden to any moral principle. They always hedge their bets..........."" This counts for your kind of politicians ! But throughout the world there are many politicians who do have 'moral principles' and stick to them !! Now the end is near, you don't think, you should apologize for all your crazy and absurd comments re Syria, , and admit, just once !!!, that you were wrong AGAIN !! But, I doubt, this will happen, and we will see you back, on sites discussing uprisings in Iran, N Sudan, Zimbabwe, Angola,, just to mention a few !!! ( Ohhh, and these Libyan election results.....they MUST hurt !!!!)

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-12 14:22

      Unlike you, I am not emotionally invested to the conflict in Syria and as such don't need to apologise to anyone. Libya is now a rat infested, trash strewn and half destroyed waring nation, your masters helped make it that way. "For the truth is that, since Gaddafi fell, Libya has been run by a National Transitional Council which has overseen a descent into anarchy." Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2170025/Back-bloody-anarchy-Andrew-Malone-revisits-Libya-finds-country-riven-torture-mass-murder-savage-vengeance.html#ixzz20PUnSzyo

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-12 17:18

      Fidel, exactly, dictators and their supporters NEVER EVER get emotionaly involved !!! ""Libya is now a rat infested, trash strewn and half destroyed waring nation"" What a SICK and DISPICABLE comment to make!! YOU HATE THE LIBYANS, DON'T YOU!! YOU, ACTUALLY HATE AFRICANS. How tragic !!!! All, so that you can spew American and European HATRED !!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-12 17:29

      Libya is a forgone conclusion. It would be fun to watch the per capita income drop to a fraction of what it was in a few years as western companies turn the population in to pump men and valve openers in the name of providing jobs and amass the oil wealth to their shareholders. That is what you get when you sell out your country. They deserve it! People do not eat ballot papers!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-12 18:54

      Anthony, you clown, your post appears to be one long, unwarranted and ignorant ad hom. Try logic and argument, and I might respond to you.

      keith.murphy.9638 - 2012-07-13 17:34

      Dont worry about that scumbag idiot he was paid and they will let him get away with all his assest.Just another prick in the western vampires wall or should I say hol??

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-15 14:37

      More immature anti-West core beliefs at play, distorting reality and rendering views expressed as unreliable and faulty. They drip with personal hatred.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-12 08:07

    ""I call on all free and worthy people in Syria, particularly in the military, to immediately rejoin the ranks of the revolution," he said, adding: "turn your cannons and your tanks towards the criminals in the regime who are killing the people"" Nawaf Fares Syria's most senior diplomat. This assad terrorist's inner circle is falling apart. A repeat of Libya's dictator last days........!! It is now a matter of which model bakkie, this assad will hitch a lift !!!

      keith.murphy.9638 - 2012-07-13 17:37

      You a real itdiot poepsak

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-15 14:38

      Keith adds almost nothing to discussions. If it's not his "West is evil" shallow rhetoric, it's highly personal insults.

  • ricky.hammer.92 - 2012-07-12 08:45

    Assad is going down,bloody dictator. Iran is next.

  • gieljam.gomtor - 2012-07-12 09:02

    He must have been feeling the heat , because of the global warming or is it warning..

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