Syria Shaken

If this report from Turkey’s Today’s Zaman turns out to be correct, it would be a major escalation of desertions from the Assad regime.

Syria’s ambassador to Iraq has defected and urged the army to “turn your guns on the criminals” of President Bashar al-Assad’s government, giving the anti-Assad uprising one of its biggest boosts in 16 months of bloodshed.

Nawaf al-Fares, who has close ties to the Syrian security services, was the first senior diplomat to desert Assad, following hard on the heels of Manaf Tlas, a brigadier general in the elite Republican Guard and a close friend of Assad.

I say “if it turns out to be correct” because another reported defection of several days ago now seems unproven. 

 Nearly one week after the commander of one ofSyria’s elite Republican Guard units defected, he has not been seen in public or tried to contact the opposition, raising questions about his motives and intentions, senior officials and opposition members said.

Of course whether it’s two, or one, the individual defections aren’t as important as what they indicate about the rumors, talk, and morale of those still wearing Assad’s uniforms.  Is a tipping point near at hand or will one not be reached? Resources are being poured in from both sides to prove their own prophecies

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