Syria’s oil minister resigns, calls Assad regime a 'sinking ship'

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BEIRUT — Syria’s deputy oil minister appeared tense as he looked at the camera and announced in a video that he has defected from President Bashar Assad’s regime, acknowledging he expects government forces to “burn my home” and “persecute my family.”

Abdo Husameddine, a 58-year-old father of four, on Thursday became the highest-ranking civilian official to join the opposition, and he urged his countrymen to “abandon this sinking ship” as the nation spirals toward civil war.

“You have inflicted on those you claim are your people a full year of sorrow and sadness, denied them their basic rights to life and humanity and pushed the country to the edge of the abyss,” Husameddine said.