Syria: French FM expects new "spectacular" defections soon
The French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said Thursday he expects new "spectacular" defections from the Syrian regime "soon".
"From the information we have, but we'll see if this is confirmed in the coming days, there are other spectacular defections that will occur," said the French minister as he visited Beirut.
He recalled the "very spectacular defections" in recent weeks by the Prime Minister Riad Hijab and General Manaf Tlass, the highest ranking Syrian dissident who was a friend of President Bashar al-Assad.
"All this shows that people from different communities (...) decided to abandon the regime because they see that the only thing that Bashar al-Assad can do now is to murder his own people" said Fabius.
"These elements that add to each other are not only spectacular but show that the regime is decaying (...) we obviously want it to go as fast as possible," he said.
But, he cautioned, however, the fall of the regime should not be translated "into a rise of extremism. For this, it requires not only the regime be changed, but that security institutions continue to exist. If not we may have the same phenomenon as in Iraq. "
Western countries are reluctant to the idea of arming the rebels, arguing that the arsenal could fall into the hands of extremist groups.