As Aleppo shudders under a barrage of shellfire, the desertion of Syria’s PM marks one of the most high-profile defections from President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
Syria’s prime minister began planning his break from the regime two months ago when Bashar Assad offered him the post and an ultimatum: Take the job or die.
The full scope of Riad Hijab’s carefully executed flight to the rebel side – described by an aide who escaped with him to Jordan – reverberated Monday through Syria’s leadership.
Hijab became the highest-ranking government official to defect, emboldening the opposition and raising fresh questions about the regime’s ability to survive the civil war.
If Assad is eventually toppled, and jailed (or killed), it will send out a very strong signal to Middle East regimes that if your citizens demand democracy, responding by killing them will end badly for you. Qaddafi found this out also.