Opposition: Syria's Iraq ambassador has defected
ISTANBUL — The Syrian ambassador to Iraq has defected, denouncing President Bashar Assad in a TV statement Wednesday, becoming the most senior diplomat to abandon the regime during a bloody 16-month uprising.
Nawaf Fares, a former provincial governor, is the second prominent Syrian to break with the regime in less than a week. Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass, an Assad confidant and son of a former defense minister, fled Syria last week, buoying Western powers and anti-regime activists, who expressed hope that other high-ranking defections would follow.
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