Syrian ambassador defects, joins revolution

Defection of Nawaf al-Fares, formerly Syria's ambassador to Iraq, marks first senior diplomat to quit embattled government.

By REUTERS
July 12, 2012 02:46
1 minute read.
Fares being sworn in as ambassador to Iraq in 2008

Fares being sworn in as ambassador to Iraq in 2008. (photo credit: REUTERS/Sana Sana)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

AMMAN - Syria's ambassador to Iraq Nawaf al-Fares said on Wednesday he had defected and joined the revolution against President Bashar Assad, becoming the first senior diplomat to quit the embattled government.

Fares called on Syrian soldiers to follow his lead and turn their guns on the Damascus leadership, in a video statement posted on Facebook

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


"I declare that I have joined, from this moment, the ranks of the revolution of the Syrian people," Fares said.

"I ask ... the members of the military to join the revolution and to defend the country and the citizens ... Turn your guns towards the criminals from this regime," he added.

Fares was filmed speaking in front of the green and white Syrian flag from the era before the Baath Party took power five decades ago. He did not give details of his location.

He did not spell out his reasons for defecting, but repeatedly said government forces has been killing civilians during its crackdown on the 16-month-old uprising.

Click for full JPost coverage



Nawaf, a Sunni Muslim tribal figure from eastern Syria, was appointed in 2008 as ambassador to Baghdad, a sensitive post after a three-decade freeze in diplomatic relations between the two countries.

He was seen as a safe choice, as he had previously served as the top official in Assad's Baath Party in the province of Deir al-Zor. He is also a member of the Ogeidat tribe, a major clan long allied to Syria's Alawite ruling minority.

Related Content

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
July 21, 2018
Khamenei backs blocking Gulf oil exports if Iranian sales stopped

By REUTERS