Aleppo, Syria, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
As far as defections go, it’s hard to do better than the prime minister. Riad Hijab announced via spokesman that he has joined the opposition and that he and his family are hiding in a safe location.
The writing may be on the wall for Bashar al-Assad’s regime, but the Syrian strongman still has artillery and he has aimed it at his most populous city, Aleppo, in an effort to push back rebel fighters.
Riad Hijab, appointed as prime minister less than two months ago, is the most prominent Syrian figure to defect so far.
Although his whereabouts are unclear, his spokesman appeared on al-Jazeera TV in neighbouring Jordan saying that the prime minister had fled Syria with his family and was in “a safe location”.
“I have defected from the terrorist, murderous regime and [am] joining the holy revolution,” ran Mr Hijab’s statement read by his spokesman Mohammed el-Etri.