News / Middle East

Syria VP Dispels Defection Rumors

Syrian Vice President Farouk Al-Sharaa, meets in Damascus, Syria with Alaeddin Boroujerdi, not shown, the head of Iran's powerful parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy ending rumors that Al-Sharaa had defected to Jordan, August
Syrian Vice President Farouk Al-Sharaa, meets in Damascus, Syria with Alaeddin Boroujerdi, not shown, the head of Iran's powerful parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy ending rumors that Al-Sharaa had defected to Jordan, August
VOA News
Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa has appeared in public for the first time in weeks, ending speculation that he had defected from President Bashar al-Assad's embattled government.

The 73-year-old Sunni Muslim met Sunday with a visiting senior Iranian official in Damascus.  Sharaa was last seen in public at a state funeral for security officials who died in a July 18 bomb blast.

The Assad government has seen a number of high-level defections in recent months, and up until Sunday, there had been rumors that Sharaa had defected to Jordan, despite the government's denials.

Meanwhile, a Syrian watchdog group says hundreds of people were killed across the country Saturday.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the final death toll for the day was 370, with nearly 200 bodies found in Daraya, near the capital.

The number of corpses in Daraya and when they died could not be independently confirmed. However, video footage reported to be from Daraya showed a large group of victims. Syrian forces had focused a five-day onslaught on rebel fighters in the town to regain control of the outskirts of Damascus.

Activists say Syrian forces with tanks and combat helicopters also launched new raids in other cities.

On Saturday, SANA said armed forces killed an unspecified number of "terrorists" in Aleppo and destroyed seven vehicles equipped with machine guns.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 27, 2012 8:41 AM
The story of defection and denial cannot be ascertained. The man involved stayed mute for too long, why? He could not have been in Syria when neither the Syrian forces nor the opposition could reach him quickly. But we can say that there must have been keen diplomatic effort that brought him to where he eventually showed up. The defection was true, but only Jordan and Iran can tell how much has been involved in reshaping the issue; after all seeing the man on air proved much of insecurity, fear and forced appearance. But I can also say that Bashir al Assad is hamstrung to do what is right. The example of Mubarak of Egypt discourages him. Will he get fair treatment from his people if he leaves? Assad fights to retain not his position but his life after he leaves office, but previous examples show he has nowhere to go. So he fights to the last drop of blood - both of his supporters and of himself, perhaps until a palace coup comes in to declare the matter closed when Assad is liquidated.

by: Anonymous
August 27, 2012 7:31 AM
Looks like the Rebels took out a helicopter in Damascus that was indisciminately shelling civillians and their homes. Two thumbs up, good to see these people standing up for themselves. May the Assad regime burn in hell past eternity.

by: Anonymous
August 26, 2012 12:27 PM
For every day that the Russians and Chinese defend the Assad regime killing all the civillians, every other country in the world should stop doing business for a year. 1 day of inaction = 1 year of no business with the rest of the world. Perhaps this would make the Russians and Chinese open their eyes. Stop doing business with these tyrant regime supporters. This is the best non-military solution.
In Response

by: khalid hasnain aftab from: india
August 28, 2012 5:21 AM
THE UNREST IN SYRIA HAS BEEN STARTED AND BEING FUELLED BY AMERICA AND ITS ALLIES SO, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THOUSANDS KILLED AND BEING KILLED?.

by: Bill Smith from: USA, Dallas Texas
August 26, 2012 9:23 AM
Where is US Military when they can stop this genocide ?
Oh, I forgot there is no petrol to steal in Syria ... so no case for a preventive war on terror ...
For our government a Human life is not worth petrol ...
It's time to give power to the people !

by: OscarM from: SWEDEN
August 26, 2012 7:37 AM
Religion mixed with Capitalism, is the sickest combination in all of history.

Become a hero, we all need to think of ways to help the situation, everyone should be thinking of ways to save the world and together we can change things.

by: Anonymous
August 26, 2012 1:43 AM
Other news reports:
"Activists say 200 bodies found in Damascus suburb, alleging they were killed "execution-style" in house-to-house raids. "

This needs to be ended by Nato, they have to put an end to this regime.

Call Russia and Chinas bluff... Send in drones to take out Assads forces. What is Russia and China going to do ? Attack America? I HIGHLY doubt it... They will have to eat their own words. They won't do anything...

I wish the world would stop doing nothing, it is disgusting. I couldn't imagine being in Syra, it must be hell. Probably no different than what the Chechnyan people went through from the disgusting Putin regime.

by: Anonymous
August 26, 2012 1:37 AM
These are the type of people Russian government and Chinese government (Which have the worst human rights reords) back??
I say the hell with Russia and China, every other country should unite in doing something about this. If Russia and China think they have a good reason to back this regime, they are wrong and they know it.

To hell with Russia and China, they are just as evil doers as the Assad regime itself.

It is time the world stops doing business with Russia and China entirely, and the world step in to help the Syrian people defend themself from systematic killings.

by: C Smythe from: lumby
August 25, 2012 11:18 PM
The West has chosen the wrong side if they do not support Assad. His enemies really are terrorists - the same people responsible for 9-11. The Assad regime has kept a lid on an other wise primitive and violent people. Don't think for one minute democracy has a chance in the Middle East. Separation of church and state simply cannot exist in a stone age culture. Look how bad it is getting in 'merca. There are fewer religious than ever but the remaining believers are nut cases . . . just like the Middle East. I foresee a sweeping horde of muslims bent on world domination fueled by our very own need for oil. Europe is collapsing and 'merca is soon to follow. There is no money or will and the terrorist are well aware of their advantages. I fear the demise of democracy in the Mid East within 5 years.
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 28, 2012 11:26 AM
These stone age barbaric people! They know nothing but to turn the hand of the clock backward. Do you by any means suggest the world looks for a solution to them? The US started well and suddenly shot itself on the ankle and started pulling out instead of continuing with history. Now what you have stated here is the fall of another kingdom. It follows in sequence - Europe goes, America follows; and Russia and its allied eastern bloc rise: UNLESS SOMETHING IS URGENTLY DONE TO STEM THE TREND. The Republicans are better positioned to understand what should be done.

by: Vas from: DC
August 25, 2012 11:09 PM
all propaganda from MSM re Syria starts with same 2 words:'activists say'..

by: Kenneth Howell from: Venice, Ca.
August 25, 2012 9:49 PM
When are people going to realize that the Obama administration is financing the rebels that are commiting the atrocities in Syria.
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