defection

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North Korea Suffers 'Highest-Ranking' Defection

Thae Yong Ho has defected to South Korea

(Newser) - A North Korean diplomat stationed in London vanished in mid-July, and Seoul is now explaining why: Thae Yong Ho has defected to South Korea, in what the BBC reports could be the "highest-ranking" defection North Korea has experienced. The New York Times calls Thae the "No. 2" official... More »

N. Korea Honcho Defects in 'Coup' for S. Korea: Reports

He's said to be the highest-ranking military official to ever defect to South

(Newser) - On Friday, South Korea announced that 13 North Korean employees from a restaurant in China had defected into its fold, the AP reports. On Monday, the country added a pair of North Korean officials, one of whom is reportedly a spy-savvy army colonel, in what Reuters calls a "coup... More »

Syria Using Advanced Iranian Missiles: US

Meanwhile, two Syrian air force generals defect, Russia may meet opposition

(Newser) - The Syrian military has fired two missiles in the past week that US officials believe are a newer, more-accurate model from Iran. These Fateh A-110 missiles have less range than the Scud variants the regime has been relying on, with a maximum distance of 125 miles versus 185. But they... More »

Syria's Chief of Military Police Defects, Joins Opposition

Latest high-profile defection another setback to Assad regime

(Newser) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad suffered another high-profile defection last night, as the head of the Syrian military police declared he had switched to the rebels, reports the Guardian . Major General Abdul-Aziz Jassem al-Shallal said he was joining the "people's revolution" on al-Arabiya TV, although it was unclear when... More »

Ex-PM: Assad Only Controls 30% of Syria

'The regime is falling apart,' Riad Hijab says

(Newser) - Bashar al-Assad's days sound awfully numbered if you listen to ex-Prime Minister Riad Hijab. "The regime is falling apart morally, materially, economically," the defector told reporters in Jordan today. "Its military is rusting and it controls only 30% of Syria's territory." Hijab wasn't... More »

Syrian PM Defects: Rebels

But government claims Riad Hijab was fired

(Newser) - The Syrian opposition is claiming a big defection to its side: Prime Minister Riad Hijab. Hijab, who became prime minister two months ago, would be the highest-level defection of the uprising so far, the AP reports. An opposition source tells CBS that Hijab and his family are already out of... More »

Syrian Diplomat Defects as Aleppo Fighting Rages

Rebels seize key strategic points outside the city

(Newser) - Syria's most senior diplomat in London defected today, saying that he no longer wanted to represent a "violent and oppressive" government, the UK Foreign Office announced today. The office says Charge d'Affaires Khaled al-Ayoubi is staying in a safe place in Britain, the BBC reports, and hailed... More »

Suicide Blast Kills Key Assad Henchmen

State TV reports that more officials seriously wounded

(Newser) - A regime-shaking suicide attack on the National Security building has killed Bashar al-Assad's defense minister and brother-in-law, according to the country's state-run TV. The New York Times calls the death of defense minister Daoud Rajha the "first assassination of a prominent official" in the entirety of the... More »

Syria's Ambassador to Iraq: I'm Joining the Revolution

Diplomat urges his countrymen to abandon Assad

(Newser) - The Syrian ambassador to Iraq has defected, becoming the most senior diplomat to abandon the regime during its bloody 16-month uprising. "I'm announcing from this moment on that I'm siding with the revolution in Syria," Nawaf Fares said in a statement broadcast on al-Jazeera yesterday, denouncing... More »

Member of Assad's Inner Circle Defects

General's defection a sign regime may be falling apart

(Newser) - Is Bashar al-Assad's regime starting to crumble? The Syrian leader's staying power has been credited to the resilience of his inner circle (in contrast to Moammar Gadhafi's), but one of the regime's main figures has reportedly defected to Turkey. Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass is a close... More »

Syrian General, 84 Soldiers Defect to Turkey

Arab League urges opposition to unite at Cairo conference

(Newser) - A Syrian general and 84 other soldiers have fled to Turkey in one of the largest mass defections since the Syrian uprising began. The group, which has joined some 2,000 other former members of the Syrian military in a refugee camp in southern Turkey, included a colonel, lieutenant colonel,... More »

Dozens Defect Syrian Army as Rebels Cry Genocide

Europe calls for measured response to downed Turkish plane

(Newser) - The Syrian military has been hit with a raft of new defections: Six officers and 33 soldiers today quit the country for Turkey. Reports suggest they brought their families along, bringing the total number to 224 people. Accounts differ as to whether the defectors included an army general. They add... More »

Syria's Deputy Oil Minister Defects, Joins Rebels

Abdo Hussameddin slams 'barbaric' Assad regime

(Newser) - A top Syrian official has decided to abandon Bashar al-Assad's "criminal regime" and join the uprising. Deputy oil minister Abdo Hussameddin is the highest-ranking civilian to defect since the rebellion began a year ago, reports the BBC . "I am joining the revolution of the people who reject... More »

Josef Stalin's Daughter Dies in Wisconsin

Lana Peters defected from Soviet Union in 1967

(Newser) - Josef Stalin's only daughter has died in Wisconsin at the age of 85. Lana Peters—born Svetlana Alliluyeva Stalin—handed the US a massive Cold War publicity coup when she defected to the US in 1967, publicly burning her Soviet passport, and declaring: "I have come here to... More »

Big Move in Syria: Defectors Form Army

Formation of Free Syrian Army could lead to turnaround in uprising

(Newser) - A turnaround in the Syrian protests? That’s what supporters are hoping—and opponents are fearing—as a group of defectors attempts to organize an armed movement against President Bashar al-Assad. Until now, the protesters have been largely peaceful and mostly unarmed, and though defections had occurred in the past,... More »

Top Libyan Soccer Players Defect

Goalie tells Gadhafi to 'leave us alone'

(Newser) - Moammar Gadhafi has reportedly lost top military officials to defection, and now he'll have to do without his star soccer goalie. Juma Gtat and 17 other players from the national team have switched allegiance to the rebels, reports the BBC . "I am telling (Ghadafi) leave us alone and... More »

Army Commanders Defect in Yemen

President's key confidante switches to opposition

(Newser) - Tanks and armored vehicles have been deployed in Yemen’s capital as support for the country's president continues to erode : Three army commanders have defected to the opposition, the AP reports. The officers are members of the president’s tribe, which called for his resignation yesterday. Among them is a... More »

Iran Willing to 'Slaughter' Rebels: Defector

Regime would be brutal in efforts to hold onto power: former vice consul

(Newser) - Iranians have been inspired by the successful revolts in Egypt and Tunisia, but a diplomat who defected last month warns that Iran's regime is a much more brutal one. Iran would "slaughter" rebels rather than cede control, says Ahmed Maleki, who served as vice consul in Iran's Milan consulate... More »

A Wave of Democratic State Lawmakers Defecting to GOP

At least 13 have jumped ship so far, and there could be more

(Newser) - Democratic losses didn’t stop on Election Day: Since Nov. 2, at least 13 state lawmakers have switched over to the Republican party, the AP reports. Many of the defections took place in the South, where dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party is high. In some states, like Alabama and Louisiana,... More »

Entire Afghan Police Station Defects to Taliban

19 cops cut a deal with insurgents, sack, burn station

(Newser) - An entire Afghan police station defected to the Taliban today, with as many as 19 officers joining insurgent fighters in sacking and burning their own station, the New York Times reports. The lone remaining cop of the station southwest of Kabul—the chief—said that the turncoats took their guns,... More »

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