Syrian state TV presenter Ola Abbas defects


A Syrian TV presenter has quit her post in the state TV refusing to serve the regime of President Bashar al-Assad which she described as trying to “awaken the monster of sectarianism.”

Ola Abbas read out a statement in a video aired by Al Arabiya TV saying that for about 40 years the Syrian regime has denied people their full citizenship rights and refused to allow the country to transition into a democracy.

“Forty years have passed and the regime persists in breaking our humanism and works to monitor our defects and here it is today re-produces the mechanisms and methods of his tyranny by exploiting the a misled group of the Syrian people and using it …to awaken monster of sectarianism,” Abbas said.

Several people have recently deserted the Assad’s regime diplomatic and legislative organs, amid reports of him losing large portions of the country to advancing opposition forces.

On Friday, lawmaker Ikhlas Badawi, who represents the northern province of Aleppo in the parliament elected in widely criticized May polls, defected to Turkey.

Intensified ground and aerial bombardment on Syrian cities by Assad’s forces in recent weeks has prompted diehard Baathists and Assad’s loyalists to defect.

They have been mostly Sunni Muslim, from the majority sect at the forefront of the 16-month uprising against Assad.

Nawaf al-Fares, Syria’s ambassador to Iraq and a former Baath Party chief in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor, fled to Qatar through Jordan two weeks ago.

Fares, according to opposition sources, is a friend of Manaf Tlas, a brigadier general in the Republican Guards and a member of Assad’s inner circle, who fled Syria earlier this month.

Al Arabiya

Photo: Syrian state TV presenter Ola Abbas accused the Syrian regime of denying people their citizenship rights for decades. (Al Arabiya)