'Sacked' Syrian spokesman: evidence of defection emerges
Secret online messages between 'sacked' Syrian spokesman, Jihad Makdissi and a known Syrian activist have come to light after the opposition figure posted them on his Twitter account on Wednesday.
Makdissi, formerly the spokesman for the foreign ministry, left his position in the Syrian government for the UK earlier this month but he was never confirmed as one of the defectors of the regime.
However, the communiques between him and Syrian American activist, Rami Jarrah (also known as Alexander Page), appear to show his doubts about the regime's actions, months before his departure.
In one message, dated 21 July, Makdissi writes: "The main problem that prevents me or I can say most Syrian diplomats from openly joining the movement are the opposition 'representatives'."
He also alludes to wide scale violence throughout Syria, at a time when the regime's official position was that "terrorists" were engaged in isolated attacks.
In a message dated 7 July, he writes: "Rami don't lose hope ... the country is not ok and we need to choose what is best ... We need all to Support [sic] political process away from violence."
At the end of the messages, Jarrah offers to help Makdissi and hands over his personal phone numbers. Although the former spokesman does not indicate that he used Jarrah's offer of help to escape, it does raise questions of his loyalty to the Syrian government.
The Syrian government's official position is that Makdissi is on "sanctioned leave" in the UK.