BEIRUT, Lebanon – Syrian lawmaker Ikhlas Badawi, who represents the embattled second city of Aleppo in the assembly elected in the widely criticized May polls, has defected and fled to Turkey, the opposition said on Friday, July 27.
“There were contacts for some time to ensure her a safe place,” Samir Nashhar, a member of the opposition Syrian National Council, told AFP.
“She arrived yesterday (Thursday) in Turkey and she will be going to Qatar, which has agreed to receive her.”
Nasshar said Syrian authorities had asked lawmakers in Aleppo to leave the city for the capital Damascus ahead of a major battle between Syrian troops and rebels.
“They were ordered to take a plane because the Damascus-Aleppo highway wasn’t safe, but she took a plane to Turkey instead,” said Nasshar, who is originally from Aleppo and currently based in Turkey.
Badawi, who fled with her six children, becomes the fourth Syrian lawmaker to publicly break with the regime since the beginning of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March last year.
In January, Imad Ghalioun, a member of the parliamentary budget committee, announced he was seeking refuge in Egypt, calling on the opposition to ensure the interest of the Syrian people “who want to achieve freedom.” – Agence France-Presse