Riyad Hijab speaks for first time at Amman press conference. TV screen grab [Al Jazeera]
Riad Hijab, Syria’s defected prime minister, has said that President Bashar al-Assad’s government is near collapse and urged other political and military leaders to tip the scales and join the rebel side.
“The regime is on the verge of collapse morally and economically,” Hijab told a news conference in the Jordanian capital, Amman, on Tuesday in his first public comments since leaving his post last week.
Hijab, who fled to neighbouring Jordan with his family, is the highest-ranking political figure to defect from Assad’s regime.
He said he was now backing the rebels, but gave no clue as to his plans.
“I urge the army to follow the example of Egypt’s and Tunisia’s armies [and] take the side of people,” he said.
The former Syrian official said he felt “pain in his soul” over the government’s shelling and other attacks on rebel strongholds as the government stepped up its military offensive.
About 20,000 people have been killed in the unrest since March 2011, according to London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
“I was powerless to stop the injustice,” he said, speaking in front of the rebel flag.
Hijab added: “Syria is full of honourable officials and military leaders who are waiting for the chance to join the revolution.”
- annie-tsp likes this
- abhiyayaya reblogged this from thepeoplesrecord
- asimplesardine likes this
- modestinferno reblogged this from thepeoplesrecord
- somethingnoo reblogged this from thepeoplesrecord
- turtlefinn likes this
- thepeoplesrecord reblogged this from syrianfreedomls
- thepeoplesrecord likes this
- syrianfreedomls posted this