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The draft resolution would subject Syria to UN sanctions in response to the Assad regime’s massive crackdown on the country’s uprising. “The deterioration of the 17-month conflict, daily killings and rising number of reported defections have emboldened the U.S, France and the U.K. to challenge Russia to break with a Soviet-era ally it’s protected from punishment.” Russia has said it opposes the resolution.
Syrian ambassador to Iraq, Nawaf Fares announced his defection from the Syrian regime and his resignation from the Baath party. The Syrian foreign ministry responded by dismissing him from his post. “I announce, from this moment on, that I am siding with the people’s revolution in Syria, my natural place in these difficult circumstances which Syria is going through,” he said. He went on to encourage other party members and members of the army to also defect, saying “I call on all party members to do the same because the regime has transformed it into a tool to oppress the people and their aspirations to freedom and dignity.” See the entire video of his defection here (Arabic)
Assad appoints political unknown to head transition talks (Financial Times)
Bashar al Assad has named a relatively unknown official as the regime’s chief negotiator in discussions of a transition process. “When Kofi Annan, the international envoy, asked Mr Assad on Monday to name an ‘effective, empowered’ interlocutor to negotiate with the opposition on a transitional administration, he was given the name of Ali Haidar.”
The organization Women Under Siege has issued a report that found the Syrian regime is using gang rape as a strategy against Syrian opposition and the Syrian people. The report documented 81 instances of rape and found that 67% of those were carried out by government forces. Read the full report here (English)
The rising cost of treatment of refugees resulted in the Lebanese decision to stop treatment of refugees, Al-Jazeera reports. A spokesman from the Lebanese government commented that the reason is purely technical and not political. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported 30,000 Syrians fled to Lebanon due to the conflict, while the Refugee Coordinator’s office in Lebanon said they wished that the government would “back down from its unjust decision regarding the wounded” said Mustafa Obayd, coordinator of medical treatment of refugees in Northern Lebanon.
Wednesday: The Local Coordination Committees reported 78 fatalities on Wednesday, including five women and five children. Of the dead, 16 were Palestinians who had been kidnapped two weeks ago, but whose bodies were only just discovered.