Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Syria's deputy oil minister defects

Abdo Hussameldin announces his defection in a video whose authenticity could not be immediately verified.


"Abdo Hussameldin, Syria's deputy oil minister, has announced his defection in a video posted by activists on YouTube.

If confirmed, Hussameldin would become one of the highest ranking civilian official to abandon President Bashar al-Assad since the uprising against his rule erupted a year ago.

"I Abdo Hussameldin, deputy oil and mineral wealth minister in Syria, announce my defection from the regime, resignation from my position and withdrawal from the Baath Party. I join the revolution of this dignified people," Hussameldin said in a YouTube video.

Rami, the activist who shot the video and posted it on YouTube on Thursday, told AFP news agency in Beirut that the opposition helped arrange his resignation. He asked that the location where the video was shot not be disclosed for safety reasons.

Hussameldin denounced Russia and China for backing the regime saying they were not "friends of the Syrian people but partners in the killing of the Syrian people".

He said he had served in the Syrian government for 33 years and did not wish to end his life "serving a criminal regime".

"That is why I have joined the right path knowing that this regime will burn down my house, hunt down my family and fabricate lies," he said.

He advised his colleagues to abandon "this sinking ship"......"

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