Syria's ex-Prime Minister: Regime on the verge of collapse (+video)
Riad Hijab speaks out for the first time since he fled Syria to Jordan. He said that morals are down in the Assad regime and that there are cracks in the military.
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In Geneva, the U.N. said that its humanitarian chief has begun talks in Syria on a mission to boost international aid inside the war-battered country. Valerie Amos was to meet with Syria's foreign ministry and the Red Crescent, which has been the pipeline for humanitarian supplies to Syrians caught in the civil war.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Reaching a critical juncture in Syria
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Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva, said Amos is on a three-day visit to the region. The U.N. estimates 2 million people in Syrian have been injured, displaced or facing problems securing food or other necessities. Also, more than 200,000 people have fled to neighboring countries including Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.
Backbone of the opposition
The video is the latest incident to reflect rising sectarian divisions in Syria's vicious civil war, which has seen an increase in abductions of Shiite Muslims who many rebel fighters perceive as supporting Assad. The regime is dominated by members of Assad's Alawite minority sect, an off-shoot of Shiite Islam. Sunnis, who are the majority in Syria, make up the backbone of the opposition.
The video purporting to show the captured Lebanese man followed another highly circulated rebel video Monday, showing the downing of the Syrian MiG and armed men later holding the captured pilot who ejected. Syria acknowledged a pilot had bailed out of a disabled plane but blamed the crash in Deir el-Zour on a technical malfunction.
In the video with the Lebanese captive, a man identifies himself as Hassane Salim al-Mikdad, and says he was one of 1,500 Hezbollah fighters sent to Syria on Aug. 3. The video was said to have been released by rebels and aired by Arab satellite TV Al-Arabiya on Tuesday.
"Most of those who entered were snipers," said the captive, whose face showed bruises as three masked gunmen stood behind him. A man, who could not be seen, was asking the hostage questions.