Syria's deputy oil minister has announced his resignation, saying he is joining the anti-government revolt.
Abdo Hussameddin announced his defection in a video posted on YouTube yesterday.
He is the highest ranking civilian to abandon President Bashar al-Assad since the uprising erupted a year ago.
Hussameddin aged 58, has been deputy minister since August 2009.
An activist who shot the video and posted it on YouTube said that the opposition helped to arrange the resignation.
The Syrian government has not publicly commented on Mr Hussameddin's announcement.