Defection or escape? Syria’s foreign ministry spokesman ‘on way to U.S.’

The Guardian reports: The former Syrian foreign ministry spokesman, Jihad Makdissi, is on his way to the United States after apparently defecting, the Guardian has learned.

Makdissi, the most senior Christian official yet to abandon Bashar al-Assad’s regime, was reported on Monday to have variously been sacked or defected and to have arrived back in London, where he used to serve in the Syrian embassy.

But usually reliable diplomatic sources revealed on Tuesday that he is en route for – or already in – the US after managing to leave the capital, Damascus, for Beirut. He was not in the UK, British officials insisted. In Washington, a state department spokesman said: “We are not in a position to confirm his actions or whereabouts.”

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