The Syrian deputy oil and mineral resources minister, a cabinet member for 33 years, has defected from Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime, becoming the most senior political figure to condemn ongoing violence.
Abdo Husameddin stated that he was “joining the revolution of the people who reject injustice and the brutal campaign of the regime, which is seeking to crush the people’s demand for freedom and dignity.”
He voiced his abscondment by producing a video, subsequently posted on YouTube, with the aid of a Syrian rebel known only as Rami. Transmitting up-to-date information from Syria has become reliant on social media sources.
Husameddin in now in hiding. “I have joined the right path knowing that this regime will burn down my house, hunt down my family and fabricate lies,” he said. [wpcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]Despite putting the safety of himself, his wife, and his four children in jeopardy, Husameddin, 57, was adamant that he did not want to continue “serving a criminal regime.
“I tell this regime which claims to own the land that you have nothing but the footprint of the tank driven by your savagery to kill innocent people.”
Husameddin was also critical of Russia and China for vetoing United Nations’ efforts towards supporting the besieged population of the Syrian cities Damascus and Homs. He described the two superpowers as “partners in the killing of the Syrian people.”[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]
Video of Abdo Husameddin’s resignation and defection. Some agencies have refused to run it due to issues over verification. | YouTube[/wpcol_1half_end] Leader of the primary opposition, the Syrian National Council, Burhan Ghalioun said: “I hail the minister who defected.
“I expect for sure that there are other government officials and politicians who will follow suit.”
The resignation comes just days before UN special envoy for Syria Kofi Annan is due to visit Damascus, where he will hold talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr on Friday.
Annan exhorted “The Syrian opposition to come together to work with us to find a solution that will respect the aspirations of the Syrian people.
“I believe further militarisation will make the situation worse,” he added, also expounding the hope that “no one is very seriously thinking of using force in this situation.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that there have been approximately 8,500 casualties since the beginning of the uprising in March 2011.
Source: AFP wire services
Main image: Homs February 2012, Wikimedia Commons