Crackdown Continues in Syria Despite High-Level Defection
Shelling and explosions rocked several Syrian cities early Thursday, leaving at least eight dead, a day after a high-ranking official apparently resigned to join the “revolution.”
A man identifying himself as Abdo Hussam el Din, the country’s deputy oil minister, announced in a video posted on YouTube on Wednesday that he was defecting from the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
“I am joining the revolution of this noble people who will not accept injustice,” the man said in Arabic. “I’ve been part of this government for 33 years, and I have acquired many titles, and I do not want to retire serving the crimes of this regime.”
The man, who appeared to be the same one pictured on the government’s oil website, said “I decided to join the voice of the righteous despite the notion that this regime will burn my house and harass my family and will invent many lies.”