Amman: Former Syrian Prime Minister Riyad Hijab said on Tuesday that President Bashar al-Assad’s government is falling apart and controls only 30 percent of the country.

In his first public appearance since defecting to the Opposition, Hijab told a news conference in Jordan that the government’s spirits were low after struggling for 17 months to crush the revolt against Assad’s rule.

“I tell you out of my experience and the position I occupied that the regime is collapsing, morally, materially and economically. Militarily it is crumbling as it no longer occupies more than 30 per cent of Syrian territory,” he said. Hijab did not elaborate on that assertion, and took no questions from reporters. He called on other “honourable leaders” in Syria to defect as well.

Meanwhile, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 45 people, including 29 civilians, were killed in Tuesday throughout Syria while the Local Coordination Committees, another activist group, said 50 people lost their lives.


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