Damascus: Syria's most senior officer, who defected to Qatar from President Bashar al-Assad's regime, has said the regime is determined to be ''victorious'' in the country at whatever cost.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Nawaf Fares, a former regime hardliner and security chief, who was Syria's ambassador to Iraq, said the attacks in the country were carried on the direct orders of the Assad regime, in the hope that it could blame them on the rebel movement.
During a telephonic interview from Qatar, Fares said that the Jihadi units that he himself had helped Damascus send to fight US troops in Iraq were involved in the string of deadly suicide bomb attacks in Syria. Fares' most damaging allegation is that the Syrian Government itself has a hand in the nationwide wave of suicide bombings on government buildings, which have killed hundreds of people and maimed thousands more.
"I know for certain that not a single serving intelligence official was harmed during that explosion, as the whole office had been evacuated 15 minutes beforehand," he said.
"All the victims were passersby instead. All these major explosions have been have been perpetrated by al Qaeda through cooperation with the security forces," he added.
"After the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the regime in Syria began to feel danger, and began planning to disrupt the US forces inside Iraq, so it formed an alliance with al Qaeda," he said.
He said he personally knew many Syrian Government ''liaison officers'' who still dealt with al Qaeda.
"Al Qaeda would not carry out activities without knowledge of the regime," he said. He said that the ''tragic and unbelievable'' destruction in the country had forced him to join the growing opposition movement.
First Published: Sunday, July 15, 2012, 13:32