A Syrian Defense Ministry auditor defected in Cairo yesterday, and with him some of Assad's secrets. Mahmoud Hamad, who was a financial inspector for the defense ministry, reported that large sums of money were paid to "hit-men" who earned about $100 a day for their services. He also inferred that the Assad regimes claims of "outside forces and terrorist" being responsible for the violence was rubbish. He explained that municipal buses were sent out daily "loaded with weapons" and security forces for use against peaceful protesters. At night the same buses would return loaded with prisoners who were kept in illegal jails at Defense Ministry buildings. He said that ambulances marked with the Red Crescent were used to fire at protesters and used to run them over. Hamad suggested that many more government officials would like to defect except that they were always accompanied by "minders" which made this impossible. Hamad also pointed the finger at Iraq and Iran as financial backers of the Assad regime. So much money was being used to crack down on the protesters that other ministries budgets were slashed by 1/3. "We have reached a phase of genocide which can't be tolerated," Hamad said.
In other developments, the Arab League asked the UN for logistical help for their observer mission saying they had made "mistakes." New estimates of the number killed in the 10 month old crackdown are put at over 6500. There were 22 deaths yesterday and more than 26 reported today. That puts the number of those killed at 400 since the observer mission began 10 days ago. The other day, the observers said that over 3,000 detainees had been released by the Assad regime. When in fact it was the "regime which said this" to the observers who reported it without confirming it.