Syria Hit by Diplomatic Defection as U.N. Battles Divisions
Syria’s ambassador to Iraq defected on Wednesday in protest over President Bashar al-Assad’s violent suppression of a 16-month uprising as the U.N. Security Council remained deadlocked over the next steps in the crisis.
“I declare that I have joined, from this moment, the ranks of the revolution of the Syrian people,” Nawah al-Fares said in a video statement posted on Facebook. He did not elaborate or say from where he had posted the statement.
“I ask … the members of the military to join the revolution and to defend the country and the citizens. Turn your guns toward the criminals from this regime,” Fares said.
“Every Syrian man has to join the revolution to remove this nightmare and this gang which has reeked corruption across Syria and destroyed the state and society over the last 40 years, and to guarantee a bright future for the coming generations.”
Fares, who has close ties to Syrian security, was the first senior diplomat to quit the embattled government.
He did not spell out his reasons for defecting, but repeatedly said government forces have been killing civilians.