Prime Minister Riad Hijab defected to Jordan over the weekend with his family and claimed there is genocide taking place in Syria. The Syrian government tried to blunt the damage from Hijab’s defection by claiming he was fired. Hijab, a Sunni, is believed to be the highest level Syrian official to defect since the uprising began last year. Syrian Brigadier General Ahmad Fares also defected to Turkey over the weekend. Fares’ defection will prove especially embarrassing to the regime since he was a Syrian hero and the nation’s first astronaut who spent eight days on the USSR’s Mir space station in 1987.
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