Thursday, July 12, 2012

Meet the defector: the Syrian ambassador Nawwaf Al-Faris and the Hamah massacre of 1982

My source from the area sent me this:  "i know about this man, nawaf al-faris, the defecting ambassador of syria to iraq, from the...the hama area. Hama people remember him well. He was commanding one of the battallions that committed atrocities there in 1982, and i heard it from hama and halab older people (now dead) that he personally threw 16 young boys youngest was 6, from the the rooftop of a building before their parents' eyes. i think i even read about him in a UN report on Hama 1982 but i may be wrong.
he is from the agaydat bedouins, who live along the euphrates in the area between deir al-zor and al-bu kamal. he was also the mohafez of qnaytra where a lot of displaced bedouins from the jawlan know about him. he is ambassador to iraq because he has many ties with the bedouin tribes there, and his own tribe, and two related ones, that of the dulaym and the jubur are found on both sides of the border.
he was very close to the regime, as much as the tlass clan, except that he commands a larger following among bedouins in the euphrates area. his defection means that the sunni ba'th party leaders of the jazirah area (and there are many, especially in raqqah), of which he is the most prominent, are now finding it very costly to stay allied with the regime. his flight through qatar, rather than turkey, means that the qataris have big plans for him in post-assad syria. you will hear his name again. a very very dirty and cruel man."

PS After Hamah, the ambassador was in the Political Security branch of the regime and was rewarded for his role in the massacre.  I am told that he used to brag to Ba`thists about his accomplishments in Hamah.