Fighting intensifies and more defections


Fighting has intensified across Syria, but with the northern city and commercial centre of Aleppo being the centre of fighting this time.

Syria’s army has reportedly surrounded the city, the second largest in Syria after the capital Damascus and more than 200,000 people are reported to have fled the fighting. With the Syrian government restricting media access it is difficult to get a clear picture of what is happening, but some images of rebels with captured tanks suggest that it is not going all the government’s way.

Meanwhile, Syrian ambassador to Belarus, Farouq Taha, a seasoned diplomat with more than 40 years’ service is the latest of a series of diplomats based in embassies around the world to defect.

On Friday the first parliamentarian, Ikhlas Badawi, defected to Turkey and condemned the violence and suppression of the people by the Syrian regime.

It is currently impossible to access the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) website to get the Syrian government’s point of view on the fighting.

In other news, 245 Iranian lawmakers have signed a statement supporting the Syrian government. Press TV reports as follows:

“In a statement issued by 245 Majlis lawmakers on Sunday, the Iranian legislators voiced support for the reforms process and any democratic solution that promotes public participation in Syria and called on the Syrian nation and government to “cut the hands of the meddlers.”

The lawmakers expressed their satisfaction that the foreign interventions and plots hatched by the US, Israel and Western powers against Syria as well as the “all-out support” by the regional “reactionary regimes” for the extremist terrorist groups in the country have ended in failure.”

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