Syria’s Foreign Ministry says it has fired the country’s Ambassador to Iraq, Nawaf Fares, after he defected to the opposition.

In a statement reported by Syria’s state news agency on Thursday, the ministry said Mr Fares had been “relieved of his duties” and should face “legal and disciplinary accountability.”

Mr Fares announced his defection in a video released on Wednesday, saying he was siding with “the revolution” against President Bashar Assad.

Activists say more than 17,000 people have been killed in the 16-month-old uprising.

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