Former Syrian Prime Minister Riyad Hijab, contrite over the government’s attack on civilians, urged the country’s top officials and its army to “take the side of the people,” as the Assad regime has lost control of two-thirds of the nation.
“I assure you, from my experience and former position, that the regime is collapsing, spiritually and financially, as it escalates militarily,” Hijab said. “It no longer controls more than 30% of Syrian territory.”
Hijab said that while he was prime minister he had been unable to stop the regime’s policy of using heavy artillery against Syrian cities considered by the regime as being opposition strongholds. He said he had felt “pain in my soul” of the shelling of civilian areas.
“I was powerless to stop the injustice,” he said, urging other senior figures to defect. “Syria is full of honourable officials and military leaders who are waiting for the chance to join the revolution. I urge the army to follow the example of Egypt’s and Tunisia’s armies take the side of people.”