An officer in the Syrian Military, with a rank equivalent to that of lieutenant, announced he was defecting from service on YouTube, the al-Jazeera television network reported Tuesday.
In the video, the officer explains the he has decided to effectively go AWOL (absent without leave) due to "the immoral and inhumane measures" used by the military against anti-Assad protesters.
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The video, which is considered highly unusual, has fueled rumors that cracks in the brutal Damascus regime are widening and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's own armed forces are beginning to rile against his cruelty towards their fellow countrymen.
In the past few weeks, several soldiers who have refused orders to shoot protesters, have been sentenced to death by a firing squad and executed.
"I am (lieutenant) Abd al-Razzaq Muhammad Talas, an officer in Division 5, the 15th Brigade, Regiment 852. This is my military ID… I'm from the city of Rastan, near Homs. I joined the army to protect the people… but after the crimes we have witnessed against the people of Dara'a I cannot remain in my post," the officer says in the video.
Talas goes on to describe how he witnessed the killing of protesters by members of his division as well as "a massacre" of dissidents by 9th Division troops.
"Where is your conscience?" he reproached other officers.
Meanwhile media outlets worldwide have reported that a Syrian blogger known to criticize Assad's regime has been kidnapped in broad daylight, by what has been described as "a group of armed men." The Blogger, Amina Araff, is a Syrian-American national.
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