Dubai: The commander of Syria military police has defected from President Bashar al-Assad government, the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV reported.
"I am Major general Abdul Aziz Jassem al-Shallal, chief of the military police in Syria, I declare my defection from the regime's army because of its deviation of its fundamental mission to protect the nation and transformation into gangs of killing and destruction," the general said in a video aired by Al-Arabiya TV on Tuesday.
"Definitely, there are other high ranking officers who want to defect but the situation is not suitable to declare defection," added Shallal, who was speaking from the Turkish-Syrian border.
Shallal could be one of the highest-level defections from the Syrian government.
Syria has been in unrest for over 21 months, leaving hundreds of thousands dead and injured.