Syria's Ambassador to Iraq: Why I Defected from Bashar al-Assad's Regime

(Sunday Telegraph-UK) Ruth Sherlock - In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph on Friday, Nawaf Fares, a former regime hardliner and security chief who was Syria's ambassador to Iraq, said the string of deadly suicide bomb attacks in Syria were carried out on the direct orders of the Assad regime, in the hope that it could blame them on the rebel movement. He cited the twin blasts outside a military intelligence building in Damascus in May, which killed 55 people and injured another 370. "I know for certain that not a single serving intelligence official was harmed during that explosion, as the whole office had been evacuated 15 minutes beforehand," he said. "All the victims were passers-by instead. All these major explosions have been perpetrated by al-Qaeda through cooperation with the security forces." A month ago he visited his home city of Deir al-Zour, near the Iraqi-Syrian border. "There was tremendous destruction there and thousands of people had been killed, many of them from my tribe," he said. "Life in the city was almost non-existent. What I saw there broke my heart, it was tragic and unbelievable, and if people there have not joined the uprising already, they will now. The majority of the tribe, I think, are already on the side of revolution." (Sunday Telegraph-UK)

2012-07-16 00:00:00

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