US Official: Syrian Defections Big Blow to Assad

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- A senior U.S. official says the defection of the Syrian prime minister and other top government ministers is more evidence that the Assad regime "is crumbling."
The American official traveling with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Africa called on other senior members of the Syrian government and military to break with President Bashar Assad.
The Jordanian government and the Syrian rebels said Prime Minister Riad Hijab had fled to neighboring Jordan. The rebels said three other ministers also had defected.
The U.S. official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The official said the U.S. is trying to confirm reports of the defections.
Clinton will stop in Turkey for talks on Syria on Saturday.


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