January 17th, 2012
08:33 AM ET

Syrian defector speaks of devastation; slams Arab League mission

A member of Syria's Parliament has defected to Egypt and spoken of leaving behind a "ghost town full of horror."

Imad Ghalioun has represented the city of Homs for five years. He defected with his immediate family two weeks ago after, he says, he convinced the al-Assad regime that he was traveling on business.

Ghalioun told CNN that many senior officials want to defect but it may be harder now because the al-Assad regime banned officials from traveling the day after he left Syria.

"What is happening in Homs is a crisis, a ghost town full of horror," he said.

"The humanitarian situation is dangerous and no basic services, food supplies, or equipped hospitals. Residents can not move from (one) neighborhood to the other because of snipers that kill people. People are sitting at home wondering if they will be bombed."

Ghalioun was withering in his appraisal of Arab League monitors.

"We expected the Arab monitors to stop the regime's killing machine, but what happened is that they came to what seemed like a sightseeing trip," he said.

"Some went to visit the governor; others spent most of their time in five-star hotels. We wanted them to meet the activists on the ground, visit the prisoners and the injured and the families of the martyrs. They did not do that, maybe some wanted to do that but could not do it."

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Scottish Mama

    @Bombo-Not so early in the fight? Say it isn't so. No we have sanctions again first.

    January 17, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bill

    We can't expect more from these people. The visit from the Arac League was a sham and now the whitewash begins in their press. No way are these Muslims going to stop their beloved bickering and violence in their streets...they love this lifestyle and, of course, have been taught to hate US and the Western culture. A waste of time to intervene in a centuries old tradition...like we do a wekend BBQ with family and friends, they do an uprising and a slaughter or maybe a stoning or beheading!

    January 17, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Scottish Mama

    @Bill I was hoping the regime defectors would join the resistance fighters, stage a coup, and take over the country. I know just a pipedream.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. BOMBO ©

    @bobcat and Scottish Mama, I wish NATO would not get involved, but I can see it coming. It happened in Libya, and years ago in Kosovo. It was a long time coming in both cases, but eventually it happened. The Arab League should handle it, but they won't.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tcr c2

    @BILL,,,,,,, i could of not put it in better words as you have . But your so right, have you heard of a six foot sea of blood? Im not a religious person so to say but its going in that direction,nwe must not get involved in this issue in syria, i have friends that that are from different parts of the world, and most of the people that have come from syria are very peacefull kind people so in evbery society there are tyrants. I know two people that are from iran that live in long beach ca, that could not be any more gratefull to have the freedom and democracy that they have. And they celebrate the same holidays as we do, but tge point is that not all people from other parts of the world are like this! But we must like you said we MUST NOT GET INVOLVED in this one it must take its course, we as americans have to take a back seat to such conflicts. These tyrants will fall by the hands if there own people, thats there punishment, if these people would just use there heads and turn it around on the government it would speak loudly in there land. And there fore make these leaders think twice. After this uprising, all thats left now is iran, and that will be the worst, but it must happen like i said these damm leaders iron fists and swami swords, will fall there will come a day that that there will be world peace, but only if people revolt now and fight back!!! If we had to fight for demacracy here in the united states i would pick up arms in a snap of a finger, that whats these people are doing .even though they are (some of them)american haters thats what these people want peace in there countries to stay there and live there lives. These people any where in the world do not want to leave there families to work half way around the world to support there families, nor do they want to cross the boarder to work but do they have a choice but they will do what they have to do to survive just like all other americans!!!! I hope these people in syria continue to fight for there freedom because the will prevail and evil will not prevail, over humanity so fight on people of syria.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bobcat (in a hat)©


    Thought I hate to admit it, I do see it coming too. I just don't trust how this is going down. Other than the government, there is no cohesion to these rebel groups. It's a tribe vs. tribe vs. tribe thing going on here, just as it's always been. The only difference now is that the power to keep the peace has been removed from Assad.
    Hmmm. Where have I seen this before ? Iraq sure come to mind.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      Yugoslavia would be another example.

      January 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kandi

    Im totally against the US going to war again, but someone has to do something about this, and i dont see any other takers.

    January 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
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