Two Syrian envoy defect as Turkey closes border crossings
Abdelatif al-Dabbagh, the Syrian ambassador to the UAE UAE on Wednesday defected, according to a spokesman for the Syrian National Council. Yesterday, Syria's envoy to Cyprus Lamia al-Hariri, al-Dabbagh's wife, defected. Both reportedly went to Qatar.
These came after the defection of July 11 by the Syrian ambassador to Iraq, Nawaf Fares.
Meanwhile, Turkey on Wednesday decided to close the movement of trucks at its borders with Syria, cutting a major supply route to Damascus. The Minister of Customs and Trade Hayati Yazici said the decision was made after rebels seized the two Syrian border crossings. Last week, dozens of Turkish trucks were looted or burned after entering Bab el-Hawa crossing.
Elsewhere, clashes continue in Aleppo, located some 60km from the border with Turkey. On a video released by rebels, a police station is seen on fire in the neighborhood of Al-Kelassad (south of Aleppo) and gunshots are heard. According to a report prepared by the opposition sources, some 20 people were killed in clashes Tuesday in Aleppo.
In a related development, the Israeli foreign minister warned Wednesday that the Jewish state would intervene immediately if Lebanese Hizbullah fighters seized the Syrian chemical or biological weapons. Speaking to Israel Radio, Avigdor Lieberman stressed that "for us is a casus belli, a red line." According to specialists of defense issues, Damascus holds nerve gas, mustard gas (attacking skin and mucous membranes), Scud missiles capable of projecting these deadly gases, and advanced conventional weapons, including the latest types of portable missile launchers and rocket launchers.