Syria’s former prime minister Riyad Hijab claims Bashar al-Asssad’s regime is on the point of collapse, having lost control of two-thirds of the country.
In his first public appearance since he fled Damascus with his family a week ago, Hijab urged other top officials to follow his example and defect. He told a press conference in the Jordanian capital, Amman, the Syrian army needed to “take the side of the people”.
“I assure you, from my experience and former position, that the regime is collapsing, spiritually and financially, as it escalates militarily,” Hijab said. “It no longer controls more than 30% of Syrian territory.”
Hijab said that while he was prime minister he had been unable to stop the regime using heavy artillery against Syrian cities it considered opposition strongholds. He said he had felt “pain in my soul” at the shelling of civilian areas.
“I was powerless to stop the injustice,” he said. But he added: “Syria is full of honourable officials and military leaders who are waiting for the chance to join the revolution. I urge the army to follow the example of Egypt’s and Tunisia’s armies and take the side of people.”
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