Friday, June 22, 2012

Syrian Defections ... The More the Merrier!

Syrian army soldiers hold the Syrian revolution flags as they stand in front their armored personnel carrier shortly after they defected and joined the rebels at Khaldiyeh neighborhood, in Homs province, central Syria, Saturday, May 12, 2012. (AP / Fadi Zaidan)

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Reports have surfaced that high-ranking military officials of Assad's regime are preparing to defect. Hallelujah! This is a significant development because although many members of the Syrian regime have defected, most of them are low-ranking officials whose positions can be easily replaced. When higher-ranking officials defect, their actions have the ability to seriously cripple the Syrian regime, (here's hoping...).

Today The Telegraph is reporting, "Members of Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle are secretly making plans to defect to the opposition should the Syrian regime become critically threatened by the rebellion, US officials have told The Daily Telegraph.

Senior military figures are understood to be laying down “exit strategies” and establishing lines of communication with the rebels to discuss how they would be received if they deserted.
On Thursday a Syrian air force colonel became the first senior officer to defect in an aircraft after he abandoned a mission to attack the city of Dera’a and landed his MiG 21 fighter jet in Jordan.

The Daily Telegraph also reports that the pilots of three other MiGs on the mission also considered defecting, but were worried about being turned away.
Mr Assad is under intense pressure over the 15-month uprising, with world leaders considering offering the Syrian president an immunity deal to ensure he relinquishes power."

Another report from CBS News is claiming that a Syrian activist group said that four senior army officers have defected and joined the opposition.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights provided a video Friday purporting to show two brigadier generals and two colonels. They declared they were defecting. Watch the video above (it's in Arabic btw). 
Fun Fact: The Syrian flag behind them has been altered with the word "freedom" in Arabic on the top green portion.