Syrian Minister May Have Defected

A genuine mugwump in the Syrian government may have bolted for the opposition. In a video posted Thursday, Syria's deputy oil minister announced he was switching sides, which would make him the first major government official to duck out from beneath President Bashar al-Assad’s iron wing since a popular uprising began almost a year ago. Little is known about where the videotaped defection originated, and the official, Abdu Hussameldin, has not verified its authenticity to reporters. In it Hussameldin says, “I declare I am joining the people’s revolution, which will not and will never accept oppression and the brutality practiced by the regime.”