In a huge boost for the anti-Assad civilian rebel movement, one of Syria's senior envoy's has defected—though Syria says he was fired. In a dramatic departure, Nawaf al-Fares, Syria's ambassador to Iraq, told the Army to "turn your guns on the criminals" of Bashar al-Assad's government. It’ s the first confirmation of a high-level departure from the regime. Fares' dissent comes shortly after the defection of the Republican Guard's brigadier general, Manaf Tlas, also a close friend of the country's violent ruler. Fares announced, via Facebook video, "I declare that I have joined, from this moment, the ranks of the revolution of the Syrian people." He accused the Assad family of "destroying society" during its 4 decades in power and said. Syria said in a statement that al-Fares made press statements that contradicted his duties and left the Baghdad embassy without permission.
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