(WASHINGTON POST) ANTAKYA, Turkey — Syria’s prime minister defected to Jordan on Monday, according to news reports, becoming the most senior official yet to quit the embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad.

A statement read on the al-Jazeera Arabic news channel that was attributed to Prime Minister Riyad al-Hijab said he had resigned to protest his government’s harsh tactics as it tries to crush the country’s rebellion, which started nearly 17 months ago.

“I am announcing that I am defecting from this regime, which is a murderous and terrorist regime,” the statement said. “I join the ranks of this dignified revolution.”

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.