AL ARABIYA (UAE), REUTERS (UK), BBC (UK)
- The Free Syrian Army told Al Arabiya on Thursday that Bashar al-Assad's chief of protocol had defected, amid an escalation of violence across the country.
Muhui al-Din Maslamani is reportedly safe in an undisclosed location in Syria. The rebels are also claiming that more defections in the Syrian regime are imminent.
- Iran is hosting a summit for foreign ministers in an attempt to resolve the escalating violence. However, a senior Iranian diplomat said earlier in the week that no nation that supports the opposition would be present, Reuters reported.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the summit would welcome countries that have "a correct and realistic position" on the Syrian conflict.
Russia announced Wednesday that it would be sending a delegate to Tehran. The statement read: "Naturally, we intend to firmly pursue our line [calling for] an immediate end to bloodshed and the suffering of the civilian population, as well as for achieving a peaceful resolution in the interest of all Syrians through a broad political dialogue."