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This just in:

And more ominously

James Bay just interviewed Nawaf Fares, the Syrian Ambassador to Iraq who recently defected. He said a number of very interesting things.

He said 95% of the Syrian people were opposed to Bashar al-Assad.

He said that booth Russia and Iran have people fighting there!

He said all the large explosions in Damascus were not the work of terrorist but of the regime. He said the explosion that struck the intelligence headquarters, most people got a 15 minute notice to get out of the building. that's how he knew it was the work of the regime. He said they had also done this sort of thing in Iraq,

This was said live on Inside Syria on Al Jazeera English a couple hours ago. I will post the video here if and when it becomes available.

Be sure to read my most important diary yet:
Does Syria's Assad have something on Kofi Annan?

This is what is driving events, its not about foreign fighters or armed terrorist groups

                               New Protests and Defection Today 14 July 2012

Damascus: anti government protest in Midan district chanting "Palestinian and Syrian are one" 14-7-2012

Here are my related diaries on Syria:
Does Syria's Assad have something on Kofi Annan?
Tremseh Massacre in Syria: What we know
BREAKING: ~227 reported massacred by Assad's forces in Tremseh, Syria today!
Syria: Is Assad regime on the verge of collapse?
BREAKING: Russian Warships reported in Syria
BREAKING: #Russia changing on #Assad but not as fast as conditions in #Syria
UN Observers say violence in Syria is ‘Unprecedented’
BREAKING: Defection of major Assad insider reported in Syria
BREAKING: WikiLeaks releases 2.4 million #Syria emails
When did "Never Again" become "Whenever?" | #Douma
BREAKING: Incredible mass rally in Aleppo, Syria today!
BREAKING: HRW releases torture report on Syria
BREAKING: Syrian General defects with 293 to Turkey
BREAKING: Items not in the MSM on Syria
My response to Phyllis Bennis: Where is the non-violent opposition in Syria?
BREAKING: Syrian Air Force attacks Douma, 10m from Damascus, thousands flee
BREAKING: As Syria Burns, UN Blows More Smoke
BREAKING: Kofi Annan to propose Syrian unity gov't sans Assad!
BREAKING: Douma, Syria under massive attack, another massacre feared
BREAKING: Another mass defection from Syrian army
BREAKING: #NATO says No War in #Syria shoot down of #Turkey jet
NATO meetup tomorrow as more defect from Syria
BREAKING: Turkey calls for NATO consult on downing of jet by Syria
BREAKING: Senior Syrian Officers Defect
UPDATED: Russia reported to be preparing to evacuate from Syria
BREAKING: Syria fighter pilot defects
BREAKING: Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria
BREAKING: Russian troops headed to Syria
Qaddafi forces Strike Back in Libya
BREAKING: UN suspends mission in Syria
Libya & Syria - two videos - no comment
BREAKING: Russia denies supplying Syria with NEW attack helicopters
Syrian people rise up against the massacre
Another "Houla style" massacre in Syria
Fake Houla Massacre Photo: Was the BBC set up?
Idlib, Syria protest today on anniversary of Kent State killings
BREAKING: Massive protests in Syria following Friday pray
Syria is bleeding
Syria: Ceasefire faltering as mass protests breakout

10:11 AM PT:

And from the Telegraph, we have this:

Exclusive interview: why I defected from Bashar al-Assad's regime, by former diplomat Nawaf Fares
The most senior Syrian official to defect from Bashar al-Assad's regime has told how the "tragic and unbelievable" destruction of his country moved him to join the growing opposition movement.
By Ruth Sherlock, Beirut
7:30PM BST 14 Jul 2012

Nawaf Fares, a former regime hardliner and security chief who was Syria's ambassador to Iraq, spoke out in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Telegraph yesterday - his first since announcing his dramatic decision to quit last week. As the first senior diplomat to abandon the government, it is thought his departure may pave the way for others to follow, leaving President Assad's regime even more exposed.

Yesterday, in a wide-ranging interview conducted by telephone from Qatar, where he has now sought refuge, Mr Fares made a series of devastating claims against the Assad regime, which he said was determined to be "victorious" whatever the cost.

* Jihadi units that Mr Fares himself had helped Damascus send to fight US troops in neighbouring Iraq were involved in the string of deadly suicide bomb attacks in Syria

* The attacks were carried on the direct orders of the Assad regime, in the hope that it could blame them on the rebel movement

* President Assad, who had a "violent streak" inherited from his father, was now living "in a world of his own"
"At the beginning of the revolution, the state tried to convince people that reforms would be enacted very soon," he said. "We lived on that hope for a while. We gave them the benefit of the doubt, but after many months it became clear to me that the promises of reform were lies. That was when I made my decision. I was seeing the massacres perpetrated – no man would be able to live with himself, seeing what I saw and knowing what I know, to stay in the position."

Mr Fares's most damaging allegation is that the Syrian government itself has a hand in the nationwide wave of suicide bombings on government buildings, which have killed hundreds of people and maimed thousands more. By way of example, he cited the twin blasts outside a military intelligence building in the al-Qazzaz suburb of Damascus in May, which killed 55 people and injured another 370.

"I know for certain that not a single serving intelligence official was harmed during that explosion, as the whole office had been evacuated 15 minutes beforehand," he said. "All the victims were passers by instead. All these major explosions have been have been perpetrated by al-Qaeda through cooperation with the security forces."

Such allegations have been aired in general terms by the Syrian opposition before, and Mr Fares would not be drawn on what exact proof he had. He is, however, better placed than many to make such claims. One of the reasons for his rise in President Assad's regime was that he is a senior member of the Oqaydat tribe, a highly powerful clan whose population straddles the Syrian-Iraq border. Following the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, their territory became part of the conduit used by Syria to smuggle jihadi volunteers into Iraq, with Mr Fares playing an important role.

"After the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the regime in Syria began to feel danger, and began planning to disrupt the US forces inside Iraq, so it formed an alliance with al-Qaeda," he said. "All Arabs and other foreigners were encouraged to go to Iraq via Syria, and their movements were facilitated by the Syrian government. As a governor at the time, I was given verbal commandments that any civil servant that wanted to go would have his trip facilitated, and that his absence would not be noted. I believe the Syrian regime has blood on its hands, it should bare responsibility for many of the deaths in Iraq."

He himself, he added, knew personally of several Syrian government "liaison officers" who still dealt with al-Qaeda. "Al-Qaeda would not carry out activities without knowledge of the regime," he said. "The Syrian government would like to use al-Qaeda as a bargaining chip with the West – to say: 'it is either them or us'."

Mr Fares, who has six grown-up children, said he made his decision to quit five months ago, after a particularly bloody Friday, which has become the regular day for opposition protests. "The number of killings was unusually high that day, especially in my area, and that was the final straw - there was no hope any more," he said.

Mindful that such a display of disloyalty could lead to reprisals against his family, he slowly began getting his relatives out of the country. He himself was then smuggled out of Baghdad last week by the Syrian opposition. He declines to give details of the operation, but says he made a point of continuing his normal duties up to the last minute so as not to alert the authorities, who he suspected would have been monitoring his phone calls as a diplomat anyway.

Since his defection, he regretted, many cousins within his extended family had been questioned by Syrian intelligence, with some forced into hiding. However, any doubts he had harboured prior to jumping ship had gone after a final visit he made a month ago to his home city of Deir al-Zour, near the Iraqi-Syrian border.

"There was tremendous destruction there and thousands of people had been killed, many of them from my tribe," he said. "Life in the city was almost non-existent. What I saw there broke my heart, it was tragic and unbelievable, and if people there have not joined the uprising already, they will now. The majority of the tribe, I think, are already on the side of revolution."

Indeed, the last time he had spoken to President Assad, in a face-to-face meeting six months ago, the Syrian leader had asked him to use his influence in Deir al-Zour, promising him promotion if he did.

"He was saying that we should insist that this is a conspiracy from the West aimed at Syria," Mr Fares said. "I spoke with the local sheikhs and leaders, but the people's response was that you cannot trust Assad.

"I think he does believe it is a conspiracy against him, but he is now living in a world of his own."

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for you good work on the conflict (5+ / 0-)

    I do wonder if Bashar wants out but is afraid of his brother?

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:42:27 PM PDT

  •  Good luck, free Syrians. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Try to avoid the pitfalls that Egypt and Libya have experienced when you win.

    "I'm going to rub your faces in things you try to avoid." - Muad'Dib

    by Troubadour on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:28:54 PM PDT

  •  Clay Claiborne - an interesting study (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mickT, BigAlinWashSt, protectspice

    in propaganda.

  •  'Arms & cash flow to Syria rebels must stop (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, protectspice

    'Arms & cash flow to Syria rebels must stop to end violence'

    •  What is the point you're trying to make in (5+ / 0-)

      posting this RT nonsense. The diarist is not making the claim that the U.S. is funding the rebellion and supplying them weapons. (Maybe we are; maybe we're not, but show me where the diarist is making that claim.) Exactly what are you trying to refute here?

      Republican Healthcare Plan: Everyone will be encouraged to move to Chris Collins' district, where noone dies of cancer.

      by WisePiper on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:34:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  RT is not nonsense. They have the largest (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mickT, protectspice

        following of ALL internet news agencies. CNN and Al Jazeera don't come close.They have hit over 500 million viewers.

        Did you actually listen to the report? The world no longer revolves around American propaganda.

      •  I think, another imperialist war. (what he's (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        trying to refute).

        "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 07:18:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I understand that now. (0+ / 0-)

          I was just thrown off by his posting that comment here, as if the diarist were claiming the U.S. is NOT in any way involved.

          Now, in this case, I'm skeptical that the U.S. is supplying weapons. I really doubt Obama wants to see the kind of turmoil in the region that's coming down the pike. While Assad is no friend of Israel, I think a post-Assad Syria is going to be even more threatening to Israel and more actively engaged in supporting the Palestinians.

          If Syria were analogous to Libya, we'd be very open about our military support of the Syrian rebels, in hopes of establishing ourselves as their key allies in overthrowing Assad.

          Republican Healthcare Plan: Everyone will be encouraged to move to Chris Collins' district, where noone dies of cancer.

          by WisePiper on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 09:45:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The CIA is reportedly helping (0+ / 0-)

        with the flow of weapons from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar into Syria. The US is supplying only humanitarian aid and advice with its own funds. From the pro-Syrian point of view, including the Russian point of view, to stand on the claim that the US is not funding the opposition with literal cash and that US weapons are not going into Syria is to make a distinction without a difference.

        C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition is pushing the Syrian propaganda that

        the eventual goal of those who smuggle arms into the country is to install “a puppet regime in Damascus that will obey the dictates from Washington and NATO.”
        and reports the laughable claim that Syrian state TV is showing daily deliveries of weapons to the rebels. The rebel response is, in essence, "We wish."

        Fresh From Syria, Rebel Commanders Unite in Frustration

        Abu Moayed, a commander in an armed Syrian opposition brigade...[said] his fighters...needed money and weapons. But they were not getting the support promised from the donors and opposition leaders outside Syria.

        Hands off my ObamaCare[TM]

        by Mokurai on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:34:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, that's...something (0+ / 0-)

      "Let's talk this out" is most certainly the ideal. But from my perspective Ms. Flounders is strongly implying that the current state of affairs started out in the form we are witnessing now: Assad's military and security forces battling an inferior (but incrementally getting stronger) armed insurrection that has been "puppet-mastered" from the outset by NATO.

      Reviewing reports from a wide range of sources just a few months ago ought to invalidate such an assertion as fantasy. But International Action is entitled to assert it's perspective.

      I hope that hostilities can end quickly and I wouldn't reject out of hand some transition that involved Assad at the table negotiating with those opposing him. But that's not how it's going to happen. As long as military and diplomatic defections continue (and they will) Assad may eventually to have to choose between going down swinging and "comfortable exile". My admittedly superficial perspective is that he and his wife enjoy "the finer things in life" far too much to go down swinging.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:33:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  IAC has much blood on their hands. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Here in LA, IAC called a pro-Assad Rally at the Westwood Fed Building two weeks ago. The flier they used to promote it used the fake picture accidentally published on the BBC website for 90 minutes that I critique in this diary
        Fake Houla Massacre Photo: Was the BBC set up? Only they didn't tell the whole story on this photo. As I said in this article, I think the BBC was setup to warn them off against using stuff grab right from Twitter in a timely manner as I am doing here.

        Since that sting, there have been a string of massacres that have not been so well covered by original source material, 99% o fwhich is accurate, by the so chastised press. So now I see that sting, and all those who promoted it's outcome, including IAC, as materially helping Assad carry out these massacres with a minimum of scrutiny.

        Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

        by Clay Claiborne on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 11:36:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  BigAlinWashSt , Blue Wind & Claudius Bombarnac (0+ / 0-)

    This tweets for you:

    Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

    by Clay Claiborne on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:01:23 AM PDT

    •  Yeh... 9/11 was also an inside job (0+ / 0-)
      Top US official: Al Qaeda in Iraq joining fight against Syria's Assad

      Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper's comments marked the first time a top official publicly confirmed the involvement of AQI in Syria's uprising.

      By Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers / February 17, 2012

      I sincerely doubt that this guy will be accepted by the opposition. If what he says is true, then the US will get his head on a platter for assisting in killing US and UK soldiers in Iraq.

      With his past in Syria, the rebels will also want to behead him. He seems more like a rat fleeing a sinking ship and giving any story he thinks might save his sorry ass.

    •  Here's another "report" by Fares now safe (0+ / 0-)

      in Qatar.

      Assad will use chemical weapons: top defector

      The most prominent Syrian politician to defect to the opposition has said President Bashar al-Assad will use chemical weapons against opposition forces and may have already deployed them.
      Mr Fares, who announced his defection on 11 July, was widely seen as a regime hardliner and his decision to break ranks has triggered suspicion among activists.

      Some dissidents say Mr Fares has been likely groomed by the West to play a role in a transitional government while others have spoken about his "criminal" past.

  •  Dictators/ rebels / foreign interests (0+ / 0-)

    typically create their power bases by creating sectarian and tribal strife.    

    How much of this in Syria is about democracy, power and how much about sectarian friction, and how much of the violence is carried out by false flags aka terrorism by intel agents?    More innocent victims being killed by those who connive for power.  

    This pathetic outrageous strategy of killing innocents in false flag operations has been going on throughout the Middle East really since the 40s.   The area is purposely being kept in a constant churn and other countries like the USA have been and almost sucked in by similar events.  

    Victims of bigotry are the poorest, least influential members of society.......never the wealthiest, most educated, most overrepresented in high levels, and most influential. Bigotry hurts the least influential. To claim or say otherwise is absurd.

    by dailykozzer on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 11:03:54 AM PDT

    •  Are you saying that another country is (0+ / 0-)

      really running the Syrian Army, directing its tanks, artillery and aircraft? Is that what you mean by "false flag?"

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 11:39:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know, but thanks for the reply (0+ / 0-)

        and I'm asking.    Before you answer do you have an dog in the Middle East and this fight?

        I'm envious of your ability to focus.   You appear to have spent much time evaluating this situation,  which is to your credit.    But again do you have a ME agenda, meaning unfettered support for the interests and nation of Israel...because I do not?     Israel means no more to me than Ireland or Germany,  which the latter is actually my ancestral country of origin on both lineages    

        I'm cynical to the core on USA foreign policy as the sheep like me and others are purposely given a vaccination of propaganda by government and the media that is typically BS,  and never in our interest.

        I have always wished that my penchant was to naturally focus on one subject and then learn everything and become an expert,   instead I'm afflicted with adult ADD,  which is not a penchant for learning but multi-tasking,  and learning quickly but becoming an expert on nothing.    

        When it comes to information I'm an old dry sponge and quickly learn and absorb from every input source,   but to be honest I'm far from knowledgeable on Syria.    When it comes to the ME,  we're all brainwashed instead of served truth and honesty.

        Victims of bigotry are the poorest, least influential members of society.......never the wealthiest, most educated, most overrepresented in high levels, and most influential. Bigotry hurts the least influential. To claim or say otherwise is absurd.

        by dailykozzer on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 03:51:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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