Ahmed Khalaf, a lieutenant in the Syrian army said that he was ordered to command his soldiers to shoot indiscriminately at everyone in Deraa, including women and children, London based Asharq Alawsat reported on Saturday.
"I and other officers received orders from our commanders to carry out a genocidal operation in Deraa and were told not to spare the lives of women and children."
In an interview with Asharq Alawsat, Khalaf claimed that he told his commander that he followed orders while secretly telling his soldiers not to fire on anyone. However, when he was found out and put under house arrest he understood that he had to flee the country.
Khalaf explained that hundreds of Sunni officers are sitting in jails around Syria for refusing to obey orders to fire on civilians, and claims that "4,500 soldiers have defected in the Damascus area alone."