Former Syrian prime minister Riad Hijab made his first public appearance since his defection, saying the government of Bashar al-Assad is collapsing.
BY JIM FLINK ANCHOR LOGAN TITTLE He describes the Syrian government as an enemy of God. Former Syrian prime minister Riad Hijab made his first public appearance since his defection, saying the government of Bashar al-Assad is collapsing. Here are his comments from al Jazeera. “I confirm that the regime is decaying, morally, financially and economically. It is also militarily deteriorating. It is losing ground. Let the revolution continue in this civilized manner.” Hijab goes on to say, the regime holds just 30% of the country, and has put all of its forces in Aleppo trying to take it back. The Telegraph reports, he appealed to government sources, and those outside, to join him against Assad’s regime. “Mr Hijab made a direct appeal to the army to abandon Mr Assad. During the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia last year, the armed forces chose not to intervene in order to prop up beleaguered regimes. The former prime minister urged Syrian soldiers to do the same.” France 24 says, Hijab didn’t just call on outside forces, he also made repeated references to one subject. “The whole tone of the speech was actually very religious. There were a lot of references to God.” “I think this was his way of showing that he is morally clean.” Syrian rebels have said they need a no-fly zone to protect against the attacks. But if Hijab and the rebels are hoping for U.S. assistance, Voice of America notes, American defense officials are downplaying that possibility. “Last year, the U.S. and its NATO allies implemented a no-fly zone over Libya as rebels fought against and eventually ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi. But the circumstances are different in Syria, which has much more sophisticated air defenses than Libya.” A final showdown could be in the offing. Sky News reports, the streets of Aleppo are quiet in the day, fierce at night. And ever-changing. “But it really is ebb and flow. One street is taken by the rebel fighters. then the next day the government forces take it back. And so it goes on.” The fighting in Syria has raged on for 17 months.