In a video posted online this week, a man identified as Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Jassim al-Shallal announced his defection and said he was joining the country’s popular uprising.

“The Syrian military has strayed from its core mission in protecting the homeland to become nothing but armed gangs that kill and destroy the cities and the villages, carrying out massacres against our innocent civilian population that came out demanding freedom and dignity,” he said…

“The last three hours of al-Shallal fleeing the borders were on a scooter. This is how hard things can get when it comes to the coordination of the defections of some of the Syrian officers and how the FSA works hard to guarantee their safety and the passageway of their families,” Miqdad said from Turkey.