(CNN) — A Syrian diplomat who defected and joined the opposition has been “relieved of his duties,” authorities said Thursday, a day after he left his post and denounced the regime for killing civilians.
Nawaf al-Fares, the Syrian ambassador to Iraq, is the second high-profile Sunni official to break with the regime in a week. Manaf Tlas, a Republican Guard brigadier general and the son of a former defense minister, defected last week to protest the killings.
The move might be a sign that Sunni allies of the Alawite-dominated regime are displeased with the government’s fierce crackdown on an opposition that’s dominated by Sunnis.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said al-Fares went to the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, Iraqi state TV reported. The Qatari government has been sharply critical of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
U.S. elections impeding Syrian peace? Russian warships to Syria Syrian war games attempt to show force Russia wouldn’t oppose intervention
Al-Fares “made statements contrary to his job duty to defend the positions of the country and its issues, which requires legal accountability and discipline,” the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The statement said he “no longer has anything to do” with the Syrian Embassy in Baghdad or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Syria takes parting shot at ambassador who defected and slammed regime (edition.cnn.com)
- Syria fires ambassador who defected and slammed regime – CNN International (edition.cnn.com)
- Syria Fires Ambassador Who Joined Uprising – ABC News (abcnews.go.com)
- Syria’s ambassador to Iraq has defected, says opposition (guardian.co.uk)
- Syrian ambassador defects, joins revolution against Assad – Jerusalem Post (jpost.com)
- Opposition: Syria’s Iraq Ambassador Has Defected (abcnews.go.com)
- Syrian ambassador to Iraq defects to opposition – BBC News (bbc.co.uk)
- Opposition: Syria’s Iraq ambassador has defected (thehimalayantimes.com)
- Syria says defecting envoy has been fired (content.usatoday.com)
- Syrian ambassador to Iraq abandons Assad regime, defects (csmonitor.com)