Syria's recently appointed prime minister has defected to Jordan and joined the opposition to President Bashar Assad, the highest-level departure to date from the embattled regime.
Prime Minister Riyad Hijab fled with his family just two months after assuming his post in the Cabinet. In a statement read to Al-Jazeera television, Hijab rejected a claim from Syrian state media that he had been fired.
From 'Morning Edition': Anthony Kuhn, in Beirut, talks with Steve Inskeep
Anti-Bashar Assad forces in the Syrian city of Aleppo now have at least a few tanks, rocket-propelled grenades and improved explosives.
And that has U.N. observers warning about the deadly consequences of heavy weapons being used by both sides within such a "confined urban area," NPR's Anthony Kuhn said earlier on Morning Edition. The fear, of course, is that even more non-combatants will be caught in the crossfire.
As fighting between the Syrian military and rebel fighters rages, concerns are growing about how the regime of President Bashar Assad might react if it becomes convinced it's about to lose power.
One theory involves the establishment of a breakaway region dominated by Syria's Alawite minority — which includes the Assad family — in the northwestern coastal mountains. Analysts say this would be a disaster both for Assad and the region, but it can't be completely ruled out.