Former Syrian “Prime Minister” Riad Hijab has reportedly defected to the opposition, dealing what analysts said was a symbolic blow to the regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad in its ongoing battle against Western-backed rebels and Islamist forces. The dictatorship disputed those allegations, however, claiming that the ex-premier had actually been fired.

Initial media reports of Hijab’s defection were citing unnamed “opposition activists” who also, apparently inaccurately, claimed that three other government ministers had already fled the country as well. Later, a man claiming to be a spokesman for the former prime minister, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, appeared on Al Jazeera to read a statement supposedly on Hijab’s behalf.

The Israeli news outlet DebkaFile reports that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned the country's top military chiefs during a recent war council meeting to expect "war within weeks." According to DebkaFile,

“While retaliation had been exhaustively drilled in regular military exercises in the past year, Khamenei ordered the biggest fortification project in Iran’s history to save its nuclear program from even the mightiest of America’s super-weapons. Rocks are being gathered from afar, piled on key nuclear installations, covered with many tons of poured concrete and finally plated with steel.”

WikiLeaks' “Syria Files,” 2.4 million emails purloined from anonymous Syrian government sources, seem destined to have a greater impact on the West than on Syria. The headlines thus far have left a black mark on the U.S.-based Vogue magazine as well as the New York City-based public relations firm Brown Lloyd James.

A July 18 bombing in the Syrian capital of Damascus dealt the most powerful blow to the regime of Bashar al-Assad since the Western-backed armed uprising against his rule began more than a year ago. Syria’s Defense Minister, the dictator’s brother-in-law, and the chief of “crisis management” were killed in the attack, and other top officials were injured. Two separate groups — the establishment-backed opposition “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) and an Islamist terror group dubbed the “Lord of the Martyrs Brigade” — both claimed responsibility for the attack.

The foreign-financed armed rebellion and the Western-backed opposition to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has been falsely portrayed as a spontaneous uprising of “democracy” activists since violence first broke out more than a year ago. But according to a recent investigation published in the U.K. Guardian, top figures in the “regime-change” coalition — most notably the Syrian National Council (SNC) — have intimate links to the highest ranks of the world elite: the shadowy Bilderberg conference, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Goldman Sachs megabank, billionaire financier George Soros, and, of course, the U.S. government. It is all out in the open, too.

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