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Former Syrian MP Flees to Jordan

A former Syrian MP, Nasser Al Hariri from Daraa, has fled to Jordan along with large numbers of Syrian officers.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/24/2012, 6:43 AM

Damage seen on a street in near Deraa
Damage seen on a street in near Deraa
Reuters

A former Syrian MP fled to Jordan on Thursday, the Jordanian government confirmed.

A spokesman for the Jordanian government said that the MP, Nasser Al Hariri from Daraa, was one of some 40 Syrians who fled to Jordan on Thursday.

Al Hariri stepped down from the Syrian Parliament in April 2011 in protest over President Bashar Al-Assad’s bloody crackdown over anti-regime protesters in his hometown. He was reportedly assisted in crossing to Jordan by the Free Syrian Army.

Meanwhile, Syrian activists told the Al Arabiya network on Thursday that a large number of officers have defected from the Assad regime and reached Jordan through the help of the Free Syrian Army.

Among the officers are one brigadier general and four colonels, the activists told Al Arabiya, without giving an exact number.

The activists also told the network that heavy clashes ensued near the Jordanian-Syrian borders after the officers had departed through the southern province of Deraa.

Clashes also broke out in Damascus on Thursday, the report said, as Syrian government forces fired mortar rounds on rebel positions.

The opposition group, the Local Coordination Committees, reported early Thursday that 52 people were killed by Assad’s security forces across Syria, mostly in Damascus.

Government forces fired mortar rounds from the Qasioun mountain overlooking Damascus, activists told Al Arabiya, and southern suburbs echoed with the sound of gunfights between the army and rebels who have been struggling to topple Assad for more than 17 months.

International agencies have issued a worldwide appeal for Syria's displaced citizens, citing figures of more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees from the civil war.

Save the Children, the Norwegian Refugee Council, and five global leaders known as The Elders called on Syrian authorities to allow humanitarian organizations into the country as outlined in the plan advanced by former UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

Earlier this week, Syria’s deputy prime minister Qadri Jamil said that Syria was ready to discuss Assad’s resignation as part of a negotiated settlement to end the 17 months of bloodshed.

The Syrian opposition rejected Jamil’s remarks, saying Assad is a “criminal” and that “there is no room to negotiate with a criminal.”