(AsiaNews/ Agencies) - The "regime is collapsing [. . .]. Militarily it is
crumbling as it no longer occupies more than 30 per cent of Syrian territory," said
Riad Hijab, a former Syrian prime minister who fled, at a press conference in
Amman, Jordan. Its fall is a matter of weeks. Morally, materially and
economically, the system has imploded. The ex premier urged the opposition to
set up a united front to build a new Syria, and called on the military to stop slaughtering
civilians. He said he will join the rebels and wants Assad supporters to break
away from the regime.
who fled last week, is the highest ranking official from the Assad regime to defect
and to call for his removal. He is not the only top official to do so. Syrian Republic
Guard Brigadier General Manaf Tlass, one of Assad's top military advisers, and Nawaf
al-Faes, Syrian ambassador to Iraq, have also defected.
statement comes as Syrian President's special envoy Bouthaina Shaaban met Chinese
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Beijing. His visit, which is meant to find a
diplomatic solution to the conflict and revive the Annan plan, has also
rekindled the debate over China's support for the current Syrian government, a position
criticised by the European Union, the United States and the Arab League, which
back the opposition, financially and otherwise.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang said yesterday that the meeting with Bouthaina
was part of Beijing's diplomatic effort to mediate between rebels and the
regime. The latter includes a future meeting with rebel representatives to
negotiate an immediate ceasefire.
17 months of war, China and Russia have vetoed three UN Security Council's
resolutions in order to prevent any anti-Assad measure from being taken.
fighting continues in Aleppo as rebels claim to have shot down a Syrian fighter
plane, producing footage of a man they say was the captured pilot.
violence broke out, some 20,000 people have died and 2 million civilians have
been caught in the crossfire. About a million have been made homeless. About 140,000
Syrian refugees have crossed into Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.
humanitarian chief Valerie Amos is in Damascus today to assess ways to increase
the flow of emergency aid. She is expected to ask rebels and government for a
humanitarian corridor to help civilians.
should meet Syria's new prime minister, Wail al-Halqi, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, and his deputy Faisal Meqdad.