(DAMASCUS, Syria) — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime made an unusual condemnation of a longtime ally Tuesday, a further sign of his government’s growing distance from the rest of the world.
In an editorial issued by state TV, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal was attacked for selling out “resistance for power” by aligning himself closer to Turkey and Egypt, two governments that have openly criticized al-Assad’s crackdown on opponents that has fueled the 19-month conflict costing tens of thousands of lives.
Turkey and Egypt also reaffirmed their support for the Palestinian cause, which undercuts al-Assad’s longtime backing of Hamas, making him less important to the militant group.
Hamas started losing favor with al-Assad long before this recent denouncement as most leaders shut down their offices in Damascus and left the capital as fighting there grew more intense.
Making things more problematic for al-Assad is that a number of Syrian Palestinians have joined rebel forces and Hamas is torn between loyalties to the government and Sunni Muslims who form the bulk of the resistance in Syria.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN