Two Syrian diplomats in Berlin have announced their defection from Bashar Al Assad's regime due to its "horrific crimes" which have taken the country to unprecedented levels of violence and bloodshed. A report on Al-Jazeera satellite channel on Thursday said that Haitham Humaidan, Syria's former consul in Havana with the rank of first secretary, and the former second secretary at the Syrian Consulate in Dubai, Lama Ahmed Iskander have both defected. Iskander called on her ex-colleagues in the Foreign Ministry and diplomatic service to break ranks and support the revolution in Syria with "all possible means".
In Syria itself, meanwhile, the town of Talkalakh was looted by government forces after they captured it. There has been a massive displacement of the population in the area north of Homs. Local activists fear that the looting is just the beginning and say that massacres of the remaining populace could ensue. They called on the Free Syrian Army and opposition leaders to help them.
The General Commission for the Revolution said that the town was taken by soldiers loyal to the Assad regime backed by the so-called Shabiha militia and elements of the Lebanese Hezbollah. Artillery and rockets were used in the attack, which also resulted in electricity and water supplies being cut. Activists claim that the regime is "ethnically cleansing" Talkalakh and that public executions of resistance members have been carried out.