Reports claim Syrian foreign ministry spokesman now in US, working with CIA
The Israeli Newspaper Haaretz claimed that Jihad Makdissi, Syrian spokesman, is now in the United States after receiving political asylum therein.
The newspaper added that Makdissi works with the CIA and some other security services, as an "analyst" for the Syrian affair. Makdissi would knows a lot of secrets, both military and political, about the Syrian regime as he was earlier working at the Syrian Embassy in London and later in the Syrian Foreign Ministry.
Haaretz also pointed out that it has information that Makdissi had a deal with the CIA to escape to the United States through Beirut, then get political asylum in return for revealing confidential information about Syria, in particular information about weapons of mass destruction.
The interesting part is the information Haaretz published in its edition today was also revealed by the British newspaper The Guardian in addition to some other US and Western media.
On the other hand, the Syrian deputy foreign minister, Fayssal Miqdad, has denied this report, saying Makdissi never defected and had taken a three-months’ administrative leave.
“He is on release for three months and he’s enjoying his time in Beirut, I hope.”
On Dec. 3, HezbollahHezbollah's television station Al-Manar announced that Jihad Makdissi had been fired for making statements that didn’t reflect the state line.
An Al Jazeera report at that time, according to the Syrian National Coalition source, revealed that the spokesman for the Syrian foreign ministry had defected from the regime, leaving Beirut to settle in London or the US.
In a new development, the commander of Syria's military police, Major Gen. Abdulaziz al-Shalal, has defected from the Assad regime, Al Arabiya news reported.
It is worth mentioning that al-Shalal is the highest ranking military commander to defect from the bloody regime since the Syrian popular revolution began against the Assad regime on March 15, 2011.
Al-Shalal said during an interview with Sky News Arabia that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons in the Homs region.
"Assad's army has turned into a cluster of gangs that kill, destroy and slaughter our own people." Al-Shala added, "There's a great chance that there will be many deaths in the near future."
In another development, Israeli deputy prime minister, Moshe Yalon said on Tuesday that Israel has called into question reports by the London-based Syrian Human Rights Committee that the Syrian authorities used unidentified gas against the armed opposition fighting the Syrian regime.
Yalon call came two days after a senior Israeli defense official, Amos Gilad, told Israeli Army Radio Sunday that the chemical weapons in Syria were safe for now.
Meanwhile, SANA news, as well as the Chinese news agency Xinhua, reported that the United Nations International envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, has decided to extend his visit to Syria until Dec. 30. This decision came to allow for additional talks with the representatives of the authorities and what so-called internal Syrian opposition "the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change."
I think that if Makdissi does not show up in the near future on almost any TV channel and not on Syrian or Lebanese TV, either, it means that Makdissi may be detained by the Syrian regime or by Hezbollah, or, in particular, that Makdissi was vacationing weekly in Beirut, where his wife and children are residing. Of course, what I said is just a prospect.
As for his work with the CIA, this is expected to be confirmed by the US, but not soon, in order to preserve the integrity of Makdissi. I personally hope that he is not a client to any intelligence, so as to keep his image as a hero who left the criminal regime in Damascus.
Regarding Major Gen. Abdulaziz al-Shalal, he is a military man and very well known in the military foundation. He was the second man for Hafez Assad after Mustafa Altlass and is one of the main pillars of the Syrian regime. Thus, for sure, this man has many important secrets, even more than we expect. These secrets will of obvious interest to the Syrian opposition in the first degree and to Western intelligence, of course.
As for his statement on the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons, I think that if Assad himself declared that he used chemical weapons, the maximum reaction would be only the indignation of the international community, so long as Israel did not receive any harm.
It's funny that Brahimi extends his visit to Damascus for further discussions with the opposition in Syria; I earlier clarified that the Syrian opposition living in Damascus is not real opposition to the regime, but for media use by Western countries. In fact, they are staff in the Syrian regime working as "opposition." For this, I think that Brahimi is wasting time there and that there is no benefit from his visit, as he should have visited the Syrian National Coalition after his meeting with Assad, and not the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change.