Syria confirmed on Thursday (July 26th) the defection of three diplomats but downplayed its importance, AFP reported.
The Syrian foreign ministry confirmed that Lamia al-Hariri, chargé d'affaires in Cyprus, her husband and UAE ambassador Abdelatif al-Dabbagh and Mohammed Tahsin al-Fakir, security attaché in Oman, have fled to Qatar.
The ministry said al-Hariri was "merely a diplomat at the embassy in Cyprus" and described al-Fakir as an "administrative employee".
Al-Hariri, Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa’s niece, and al-Dabbagh defected on Tuesday, while al-Fakir followed suit on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, defected Syrian general Manaf Tlass visited Saudi Arabia to rally regional and international support for a "roadmap to end the 16-month conflict and rebuild the country without President Bashar Assad", Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported Thursday.
Tlass said his plan would "unite honourable Syrians inside and outside the country to […] end Syria's crisis". The defected general said current officials might be included in the country's future, saying regime members whose "hands are not stained with blood must not be uprooted".