Syria: Senior official defects amid reports of Russian/Iranian scheme with opposition

Published January 5th, 2012 - 11:50 GMT

Mahmoud Suleiman Haj Hamad the supreme inspector at Central Organization for Auditing in Syrian Premiership and Official Inspection in Defense Ministry has defected while in Cairo. In interviews to Arab channels he dismisses Bashar al Assad regime's claims about the existence of armed gangs.

Haj Hamad said Syrian security forces bear full responsibility for the killing of demonstrators, saying, "The direct responsibility lies with the security services," explaining that "there are three security services responsible for the killing: The military intelligence, the General Intelligence Department and the intelligence department of the Syrian air force."

According to him, the defection was "a natural reaction for any Syrian who is free." He stressed that there are many Syrian officers and officials who want to defect from the regime, but they fear for their families.

Meanwhile, sources familiar with the Syrian issue have spoken about a Russian/Iranian agreement with Syrian opposition elements inside the country to be given powers in the post-Assad era, if they succeeded in penetrating the Syrian National Council, which represents the authentic opposition abroad. This report comes while the Syrian forces killed at least five people on Thursday morning.

The sources close to the issue claim the Russian / Iranian agreement was reached with the "National Coordinating Body" (the opposition inside Syria), headed by Hassan Abdel Azim, offering two options: 1) Sharing power including granting senior positions among them the prime minister 2) Assuming powers in case Assad quits and preserving Russian/Syrian interests.

The National Coordinating Body is an organization comprising the opposition at home. However, some observers insist it is not a "real" opposition, but was created by the Syrian regime in order to improve its image and suggest the existence of a free political arena. The Syrian National Council was formed recently in the Turkish city of Istanbul and includes Islamic and secular figures, who have been living in exile.


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