A group of Syrian rebels from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) defected and joined pro-government forces on Wednesday. The troops’ commander announced that “the road is open,” and called on to other rebels to abandon their uprising.
Eleven rebel troops – three officers, two warrant officers and six civilians – defected from the FSA and now support President Bashar al-Assad, AFP reported.
"We have decided to return to the army and cooperate with the Ministry of National Reconciliation," Lieutenant-Colonel Khaled Abdel Rahman al-Zamel said during a conference of non-combatant Syrian opposition groups.
“We are all Syrians, we reject a revolution that starts with the shedding of blood,” al-Zamel said, eliciting applause from the audience.
"The solution can't be achieved through olding weapons, blasts, sabotage or killing the innocent, but repenting from the wrongdoing and through political means,” Xinhua quoted al-Zamel as saying. He previously served as a captain in the Syrian Army, before joining the FSA months ago. He was reportedly the head of the FSA’s leadership in southern Syria, and acted as the deputy chief of the rebels' military council.
The appearance of al-Zamel and his men came as a surprise to the Damascus conference, organized by some 30 Syrian opposition groups with the aim of opening peaceful dialogue with the Syrian government to resolve the ongoing crisis in the country. The gathering was attended by ambassadors from Russia and Iran, and China’s temporary charge d'affaires for Syria – three nations who consistently supported the Assad regime over the past 18-month uprising.
Continue Reading: Syrian rebels defect to government forces — RT