Syria's Deputy Oil Minister has announced his defection, saying he does not want to work for "a criminal regime".
It is the highest figure of the regime of Bashar al-Assad to defect since the outbreak of violence, which killed more than 8,500 people.
Hussameddin Abdo announced last night his resignation. In a message posted on YouTube, the Syrian official said he had joined "the revolution of the people who reject injustice and brutal campaign by the regime".
Rami the activist who shot and posted the video said he was helped by members of the opposition. For safety reasons, he didn't disclose where the video was shot.
In his message, Hussameddine Abdo says he served the Syrian government for 33 years and does not wish to end his life "in the service of a criminal regime". "That's why I took this track, knowing that this regime will burn my house, my family and will spread lies," he adds.
The Deputy Minister of Oil also attacked Russia and China . He accused the two nations of not "being friends of the Syrian people, but partners for the killings of Syrians." Russia and China have blocked twice UN resolutions condemning repression in Syria.
Abdo Hussameddin finally called other members of the government to abandon "a sinking ship".