December 4, 2012 / 12:26 PM / 5 years ago

Factbox: Defectors from Assad government in Syria

(Reuters) - Some prominent defectors from Bashar al-Assad’s Syria in 2012, after foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi left the country this week.

* Brigadier-General Adnan Qassem Farzat announced in March he had joined rebel forces in protest at the shelling of his home town.

* Abdo Hussameldin, deputy oil minister, announced his defection in March, the first by a senior civilian official since the start of the uprising.

* Jordan granted political asylum to Colonel Hassan Hamada, a Syrian pilot who flew his MiG-21 fighter to the kingdom in June.

* Syria’s charge d‘affaires in London, Khaled al-Ayoubi, defected in July. He said he was no longer willing to represent a regime that had committed such violent and oppressive acts against its own people.

* Nawaf al-Fares, Syria’s ambassador to Iraq, defected in July in protest at Assad’s military crackdown.

* Brigadier-General Manaf Tlas, who went to military college with Assad, fled to Turkey in July and then France.

* In August, Prime Minister Riyad Hijab defected from the government and joined the opposition to Assad’s rule.

Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit

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