Monday, August 6, 2012

PM defects brothers who were also ministers, spokesman claims

Matthew Weaver, Monday 6 August 2012

"Mohammad Otri, who claims to be a spokesman for Hijab, says the former prime minster defected with 10 families, including his eight brothers.

Two of those brothers were ministers in the oil and environment departments, according to a translation from journalist Hasan Hasan.

Speaking to al-Jazeera Arabic Otri also claimed that the defection had been planned for months. If true this suggests his smuggling out was being worked up before he was even appointed prime minister in June.

Ahmad Kassim, a senior official with the Free Syrian Army, told AP that Hijab defected to Jordan along with three other ministers. The other ministers' identities were not immediately known, it said. "

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