DEFECTION

Syria’s Oil Minister Joins Opposition

Syria's deputy oil minister says he's leaving Bashar al-Assad's government and joining the opposition, the most high-profile defection since the revolt began. In a YouTube video, Abdo Hussameddin announced his resignation from the regime he's served for the last 33 years. "I am joining the revolution of the people who reject injustice and the brutal campaign of the regime,” he said, adding, "I tell the regime, which claims to own the country, you have nothing but the footprint of the tank driven by your barbarism to kill innocent people." Meanwhile, United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said the Baba Amro district in Homs is “devastated” and looks entirely abandoned.