Defected Prime Minister says Bashar regime in Syria on verge of collapse
Hijab urges Syrian military to align itself with civilians
Former Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab became the highest ranking
figure to date to flee the corrupt Bashar al-Assad regime. As the bloody
civil war roils on with unarmed civilians being fired upon by
government forces, Hijab says that Bashar's government is near collapse.
He says he is urging other political and military leaders to join the
Former Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab became the highest ranking figure to date to flee the corrupt Bashar al-Assad regime. He is now urging other political and military leaders to join the rebel side.
Hijab says that he supports the rebels, but gave no clue as to how he was extending aid.
"I urge the army to follow the example of Egypt's and Tunisia's armies [and] take the side of people," he said.
Hijab claimed he felt an ongoing "pain in his soul" over the government's attacks on rebel strongholds as the Syrian government stepped up its military offensive.
According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, it's estimated that about 20,000 people have been killed in the unrest since March 2011.
"I was powerless to stop the injustice," Hijab said, speaking in front of the flag used by the opposition.
"Syria is full of honorable officials and military leaders who are waiting for the chance to join the revolution."
When the Syrian uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime began in March 2011, many analysts believed the regime would remain intact, given the strict loyalty test officials and diplomats have to endure before receiving important positions in the army or government.
As the uprising progressed, however, military generals and soldiers began to defect from the Syrian army to form the rebel Free Syrian Army. In addition, a large number of soldiers fled to neighboring Turkey while others remained in Syria to battle government forces.
It must be stressed that these defecting officials represent a small minority of government representatives - most have remained loyal to the state.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Syria, defections, Riyad Hijabm, Bashar al-Assad, Jordan
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