Syria: “I Tweeted Prime Minister Riad Hijab's Defection First”

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011/12.

A Syrian Twitter user claims that he was the first to break the news that Syrian Prime Minister Riad Farid Hijab would defect a week ago. The Twitter user goes by the name @THE_47th and is also credited with predicting the defection of former Brigadier General of the Syrian Republican Guard Manaf Tlass's defection, among other high ranking Syrian officials.

He tweeted this morning:

@THE_47th: On July 30, I spoke abt a major defection in the works … , I can now tell u that it is Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab.


@THE_47th: Riad Hijab has defected, but the news leaked 2 early for the safety of him & his fam. I have yet 2 get a confirmation that he’s in Jordan.

THE_47th notes:

: FB pages, especially ones from Edlib, others on twitter did mention his defection early this morning and the leak snowballed fast.

He further adds:

@THE_47th: I have the names of the 2 other Ministers also, but was told to keep on hold. There are 2 other Ministers with Hijab, not 3.

THE_47th predicts the backlash Hijab's defection will have. He tweets:

@THE_47th: I'm pretty sure Maher Assad will now personally kill about 4 or 5 State Security officials for not seeing this coming.

And he adds:

@THE_47th: Like the little kid he is, Bashar Assad will take out his anger on Syrians. May God have mercy. #Syria

On Twitter, reactions continue to pour in.

Mahmoud Lattouf, from Jordan, sarcastically notes [ar]:

وكالة الأنباء الأردنية (بترا) تنفي دخول رئيس الوزراء السوري المنشق الى الأراضي الأردنية … هيك منكون تأكدنا انه صار بعمان.
@Lattouf: The Jordanian news agency Petra denies that the Syrian Prime Minister, who has defected, is in Jordanian lands. This assures us that he is indeed in Amman

Ahmed Shihab-Eldin remarks:

@ASE: I may have broken my iphone today, but but Riad Hijab broke the illusion of Authority #Assad has been projecting to world. Riad wins. #Syria

And Syrian Maysaloon says:

@Maysaloon: Defection of Riad Hijab is not just due to a loss of confidence in Assad, the regime is unable to protect its acolytes anymore #Syria

The interactive map shared by Al Jazeera Showing Syrian officials defections

The interactive map shared by Al Jazeera Showing Syrian officials defections

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera English is sharing an interactive map, which identifies high ranking Syrian officials who have defected. The map includes Parliament members, diplomats, senior military and security officials, cabinet members and members of Syrian president Bashar Al Assad's own family.

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011/12.


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