Syrian Deputy Minister Defects

An interesting development has taken place in Syria. The Syrian deputy Oil Minister, Abdel Husameddine, has officially defected from the Syrian government. Its not known yet how he left the country, it is being assumed that he left either by plane with some kind of official cover story, or he was driven out of the country. The former deputy minister appeared on camera denouncing the Bashar Assad regime stating that he will no longer be participating in “the crimes” committed by the government. He is the highest ranking member of the Syrian government to defect from the country.

“You have inflicted on those you claim are your people a full year of sorrow and sadness, denied them their basic rights to life and humanity and pushed the country to the edge of the abyss through your stubbornness and arrogance…

I do not want to end my life servicing the crimes of this regime… I declare that I am joining the revolution of the dignified people…

I know they will burn my house, persecute my family, and fabricate lies against me…”

The defection could not come at a much worse time. International pressure on Assad government is getting stronger by the day. Daily we are hearing of new reports of killings by the government in the media. The validity of these claims are in doubt, the Arab League report that said it found most cases to be exaggerated and some completely fraudulent, has been quietly ignored. The only real fact we know is that people in the streets, be they military or civilian are being killed.

To me the defection by Abdel Husameddine seems suspicious. For a long while now he has served under Assad and has had no moral qualms with what he describes as “crimes”. If this were in fact true, where has his moral outrage been all this time? There has been no statement that he thought this was a plot by the US and then saw that it was not. No such statement has been made by him. Why has he changed his mind all of a sudden? And why the deputy Oil Minister of all people?

I believe I may know the answer to those questions. I think its very likely that Mr. Husameddine thinks the Syrian government is going to fall. Its a likely scenario, the pressure from the people is great, and there could by unilateral action by the US or Arab League at any moment. I think he may see this as the end of the regime and wants to get out now. After all, the government is being looked at for crimes against humanity. What better way to save yourself from prosecution than to defect away from the people being investigated and implicate them yourself? Promising to testify against them for immunity would seem like a logical move to make.

And with him being the deputy Oil Minister who helps bring down the Assad government, I would not be surprised if he ended up as an executive in an oil company somewhere. Possibly in Syria under a new pro-Western government.