Former Syrian PM urges official to abandon Assad

Former Syrian PM urges official to abandon Assad

Syria’s former prime minister has appealed for other senior officials to abandon president Bashar Assad in his first public comments since defecting.

Riad Hijab spoke after leaving his post and fleeing to Jordan with his family last week. He is the highest-ranking political figure to defect from Assad’s regime.

He said that he decided he could no longer support Assad because the Syrian president has no ability to halt the fighting.

Activists say more than 20,000 have been killed in battles between rebels and government forces since March 2011.

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