Riad Hijab, the Syrian Prime Minister who defected from the regime of President Bashar al-Assad (pictured) last week, said Tuesday that Assad's government is near collapse, and urged other leaders to join the rebel side. Hijab, who spoke at a news conference in Jordan (his first public statement since his defection), said he felt "pain in his soul" over the regime's shelling of rebel strongholds as the government stepped up its military offensive. His declaration came after rebels claimed to have downed a government fighter jet.
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