Nawaf Fares the former Syrian ambassador to Iraq has stated the Assad family dictatorship will not hesitate to use chemical weapons in the event that its regimes survival is directly threatened.
These comments come as Damascus -- the Syrian regimes central stronghold -- ends its second day of fierce fighting. Many residents in Damascus have stated they feel this may be the beginning of the end, the final fight that will as one resident stated decide "who wins control of the regime."
Reports from BBC News, France 24 and AFP state that Fares (who is the first Syrian ambassador to defect form the regime) warned that the Syrian regime is ready and will "eradicate the entire Syrian people," to keep itself in power.
Syria possesses chemical weapons which are of concern to regional countries. Both fears of Assad using them and their security if the regime is toppled. Fares argues that Assad may use them since he is at the moment "a wounded wolf and cornered." He cited unconfirmed reports that chemical weapons were used in a tactical manner against opposition forces in Homs.
As the most senior defector from the regime Fares has held senior posts in the ruling party and has served as governor in several of the country's provinces. In his view the regime "will inevitably fall." He "is absolutely sure this government will fall in a short time." He wishes the time to be indeed "short so that more sacrifices will not be paid by the Syrian people."
Mr. Fares has accused Iran of putting pressure on the Iraqi Shiite Maliki government, stating that the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's stance toward Syria was "contradictory" to the truth of the matter. He stated that Maliki "knows very well what Bashar al-Assad had done to him and to all of Iraq and to Shiites specifically." Fares stated that Assad had "killed thousands" in Iraq when he opened the proverbial "doors for Al-Qaeda" militants to carry out attacks during the Iraq War.
Fares also spoke of a conspiracy that is seeing the Assad regime directly collaborating with al-Qaeda. Upon being questioned about this bizarre collaboration between the Baathist Allawite dictatorship -- which is oppressing the country's Sunni majority -- and the fundamentalist Sunni militia Mr. Fares responded by stating "there is enough evidence in history that of enemies meet when their interests meet." He continued to give reasoning for such a collaboration by arguing that "Al-Qaeda is searching for space to move and means of support, the regime is looking for ways to terrorize the Syrian people."
With the Syrian capital seeing its largest military deployment of the 16-month-long uprising and violence continuing to spread Mr. Fares has "absolute conviction that if the circle... becomes tighter on the regime, the regime will not hesitate to use chemical weapons," continuing to assert the regime is "clinging to power."
Fares scoffs at the idea of political mediation as a solution to convince Assad to let go of power, stating that "it doesn't occur to any Syrian, not only me, that Bashar al-Assad will let go of power through political interventions - this is impossible. He will be ousted by force... he will not relinquish power peacefully."
He also pointed out that "the Kofi Annan plan has failed from the beginning. Several months have passed so far and... the regime hasn't implemented a single article of this plan."
Fares states that he knows "the mentality of Bashar al-Assad," and his regime adding that "the entire Syrian people understand that these people ... believe they will live forever as rulers of Syria."
Mr. Fares remains convinced and adamant that "the Syrian revolt will win despite Iran and all countries backing the tyrant."
He was seen by many as a regime hardliner, and his defection coupled with these numerous statements that vehemently denounce the regime are sure to raise some eyebrows.