Syrian envoy in Cuba defects: sources

A man of Arabic descent shouts slogans against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad as he waves Syrian opposition flags during a protest marking two years since the start of the uprising, at Avenida Paulista in Sao Paulo March 15, 2013. (Reuters)

The head of the Syrian consulate in Cuba, Haitham Humaidan, has defected sources told Al Arabiya on Saturday.

The sources, however, didn’t provide Al Arabiya with further details.

A wave of defections have taken place over the last two years of the conflict. Syrian envoys working in various diplomatic missions started walking away from Bashar al- Assad's regime back in 2011 and the peak in defections happened around July 2012.
Here is a list of Syrian diplomats who have defected:

- Mohammad Bassam Imadi, former Ambassador to Sweden. He defected in 2011.

- Nawaf al-Fares, Ambassador to Iraq, he defected on July 2012. He later moved to Qatar, a country that has ardently supported opposition against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

- Abdelatif al-Dabbagh, Ambassador to the UAE, defected on July 2012. He moved to Qatar.

- Lamia al-Hariri, niece of Syrian vice president Farouk al-Sharaa, Envoy to Cyprus. She defected on July 2012 and later moved to Qatar. It is unclear whether Al-Sharaa has defected in July last year. His last public appearance was at the funeral of top security officials, who were killed in a bombing on the national security headquarters on July 2012.

- Mohammad Tahseen Faqir, military attaché at the Syrian embassy in Oman defected on July 2012.

- Farouk Taha, Ambassador to Belarus. Fled Belarus in the spring, but did not publicize his defection before late July 2012.

- Khaled al-Ayoubi, Chargé d'affaires at the embassy to the United Kingdom and most senior diplomat in the country after higher officials were expelled defected on July 2012.

- Mohammad Hussam Hafez, Consul at the Syrian embassy in Yerevan, Armenia defected on July 2012.

- Emad al-Ahmar - Syrian Consul in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia defected on September 2012 and left to Egypt.

- Mahmoud Obeid, Syrian diplomatic attaché in Malaysia, defected on September 2012 to Egypt.

- Bashar al-Haj - Syrian diplomatic attaché in Serbia defected on September 2012.

Al Arabiya has tracked defections of political figures in the Syrian regime, please click link

Last Update: Saturday, 16 March 2013 KSA 20:07 - GMT 17:07