The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Syria’s prime minister defects to Jordan

✚  Syria’s prime minister defects to Jordan


Syria’s prime minister has defected from the administration of president Bashar al Assad, along with three other cabinet ministers, marking the highest-profile loss yet to the regime embroiled in an escalating civil war.

Riad Farid Hijab’s spokesman read a statement for the former prime minister on Al Jazeera television, following claims by Syrian state TV that Mr Hijab had been sacked, just months after taking office in the government.

“I announce today my defection from the killing and terrorist regime and I announce that I have joined the ranks of the freedom and dignity revolution. I announce that I am from today a soldier in this blessed revolution,” Mr Hijab said in the statement.

So what changed for him between June and now?

Voila Capture26

Update: Check out this cool interactive map of the regime and its defectors by al-Jazeera

As you can see the trend does not bode well for Assad.

Also more at Brown Moses blog about future defections.

There is a lot of talk about these defections having been negotiated — but between whom? The exiled Syrian opposition and the defectors? With other countries?