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    Inside Syria - Nawaf Fares: 'The Syrian regime is dead'

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    Al Jazeera English

    by Al Jazeera English

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    He is one of the highest-profile defectors from the Syrian regime. Until a few days ago, Nawaf Fares was Bashar al-Assad's ambassador in Baghdad, Iraq's capital. He has been a very prominent figure in Damascus for years. After a career with the police, he served as governor in several Syrian provinces. He held senior Baath party posts since the time of the late president Hafez al-Assad. And finally he was appointed ambassador to Baghdad in 2008, which made him the first Syrian envoy to Iraq for nearly three decades. Fares, a Sunni who is said to have close ties to Syrian security, is the second senior diplomat to quit the embattled government since the beginning of the Syrian uprising. The first was Bassam Imadi, the Syrian ambassador to Sweden. Western diplomats have hailed recent defections as a sign that the al-Assad government is slowly beginning to crumble from within. So, why did Fares, once known as a confidant of the president, change sides? What is really going on inside the corridors of power in Damascus? And what does he make of the latest diplomatic moves as rival draft resolutions are exchanged at the UN - in the aftermath of yet another massacre which some say may have killed as many as 200 people? Inside Syria, with presenter James Bays, speaks exclusively to Nawaf Fares, the former Syrian ambassador to Iraq and one of the regime's high-profile defectors.