Defecting Syrian envoy now in Qatar: Iraq
Beirut: Nawaf al-Fares, the Syrian ambassador to Iraq who defected on Wednesday, is in Qatar, Iraq`s Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari announced on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters in the French capital Paris, Zebari said the defection by al-Fares came as a surprise.
Earlier, Khaled Khoja, a member of the opposition Syrian National Council, had said that al-Fares was heading to Turkey.
Al-Fares is the most senior diplomat to abandon the regime since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began 16 months ago.
In the meantime, Syria`s Foreign Ministry says it has fired al-Fares.
In a statement reported by Syria`s state news agency on Thursday, the ministry said al-Fares had been "relieved of his duties" and should face "legal and disciplinary accountability”.
After defecting, al-Fares urged the Army to "turn your guns on the criminals" of al-Assad`s government.
In a video statement on Facebook on Wednesday, al-Fares said: "I declare that I have joined, from this moment, the ranks of the revolution of the Syrian people".
"I ask ... the members of the military to join the revolution and to defend the country and the citizens. Turn your guns on the criminals from this regime ...”
"Every Syrian man has to join the revolution to remove this nightmare and this gang," he said, accusing the Assad family and its allies of corruption and "destroying society" for 40 years.
Last week, France announced the defection of Brigadier General Manaf Tlass, an Assad confidant and son of a former defence minister who helped ease Assad into power.
Tlass was the highest ranking official to abandon the regime so far, and Western powers and anti-regime activists hoped his departure would encourage others to leave, too.
Thousands of soldiers, most of them low-level conscripts, have deserted and joined the rebels.
But despite the high-profile defections in recent days, Assad`s regime has largely held together in the face of the uprising, particularly compared with the swift haemorrhaging of Muammar Gaddafi`s inner circle in Libya in 2011.
(With Agency inputs)
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- UP: Jammu-bound Muri Express derails in Kaushambi
- Five unmanned parachute-like objects spotted over Mumbai airport
- CBSE Board Class 12th Exam Results 2015 declared
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Jaipur girl Mini Rajpal wins Miss India Deaf 2015!
- Dawood's intercepted phone calls prove yet again he is in Pakistan
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man?
- Delhi's 2015 CBSE Class 12 topper M Gayatri talks to Zee Media
- Mumbai architecture creates double decker bus from scrap!
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man? Part-2
- One year of Modi govt: PM addresses mega rally in Mathura
- No respite from heat for next three days: IMD
- Growing medical negligence in Delhi's AIIMS
- Police registers case after parachute-like objects were spotted over Mumbai airport
- DNA: Sikh man in New Zealand removed his turban to help injured kid
- CBSE.nic.in 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board (cbseresults.nic.in) Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced on May 25
- Heatwave claims over 550 lives so far, Delhi saw hottest day
- LIVE - Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced shortly
- Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 declared
- IPL 2015 final: Mumbai Indians thrash Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs to lift second title
- Check cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 12 result 2015
- Two dead, over 100 injured as Muri Express derails in UP; Prabhu announces Rs 2 lakhs ex-gratia for kin of dead
- Mathura rally: PM Modi slams 'corrupt' UPA regime, lauds NDA govt's efforts in past one year
- Check WBBSE (wbresults.nic.in) Class 12th Results: West Bengal Board (wbscvet.org) Higher Secondary Class XII Vocational Results to be declared today at 4 PM
- PM Narendra Modi's Mathura rally: As it happened
- CBSE Class 12 results out: Here's how you can check
- Public rally on 100 days of AAP govt: As it happened
- CBSE Board 12th XII Results 2015: Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced today at 12 Noon
- Kejriwal lists AAP govt's achievements of 100 days, slams Centre's 'dictatorial attitude'
- Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party changes its logo