Syria’s ambassador to Iraq, Nawaf Fares, has reportedly defected. If verified, this would be the second prominent defection in less than a week. It would also be the first defection of a serving diplomat in the 17 months of unrest. Fares was appointed to the post four years ago. Burhan Ghalioun, the former leader of the Syrian National Council, said, "We welcome the defection of the Syrian ambassador to Iraq. We have called upon high ranking officials whether in the military or in the diplomatic service to defect from this regime and join the revolution of dignity."