Syria's ambassador to Iraq Nawaf Fares became the first Syrian diplomat to abandon President Bashar al-Assad's government.
Fares' defection came less than a week after a prominent Syrian general close to Assad deserted the Syrian leader.
Confirming his defection on al-Jazeera TV, Fares announced his decision to step down from the post as ambassador of the Syrian Arab Republic to friendly nation Iraq. He quit Syria's ruling Baath party because he expects no real reform from the brutal government whose loyalists are the criminals of the 'horrific massacre'.
Fares had assumed ambassador's role in 2008 to become first Syrian envoy to Iraq in nearly three decades. Before 2008, Iraq and Syria shared bad relations.
Meanwhile, Western nations have called on the United Nations Security Council to threaten Assad regime with fresh sanctions to press Syria in resolving the crisis diplomatically.
The UNSC will start a debate on its observer mission in the crisis-hit nation, starting Friday. Russia, meanwhile, advocated for 90-day extension - a call rejected by the West as they insisted on sanctions' threat.
Syria's ruling regime lost a high-profile official -- the country's ambassador to Iraq has defected. Meanwhile, CBS News' Clarissa Ward reports on accounts that government troops are bombarding a district in the capital of Damascus
Syria: Official defects; troops bombard Damascus
A senior Syrian Ambassador defected and denounced President Bashar Al-Assad's regime and its effort to crush the 16-month long uprising. Russia is meeting with Syrian opposition leaders and U.N. Special Envoy Kofi Annan held a closed briefing with the Security Council, pushing for a tough stance. Pamela Falk, CBS News Foreign Affairs Analyst, joined UTTM anchor Duarte Geraldino to discuss the crisis in Syria.
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