Syrian Prime Minister Ryiad Hijab has defected from President Bashar al-Assad's government to join "the revolution just, less than two months after he was appointed. A spokesman acting on behalf of Mr Hijab said this defection had been planned with the Syrian rebels and that he was in a safe country. This is what he said.

"Today we announced the defection of Riyad Hijab, the Syrian prime minister. Mr Riyad had a choice to be part of this criminal regime but he chose to be among the Syrian people and its revolution. This defection did not come in one day, or yesterday, it had been planned for over two months, with the Free Syria Army and the rebels. Mr. Riyad Hijab is with his family and nine of his brothers and sisters in a safe place in a neighbouring country."

Early reports said Mr Hijab had defected to Jordan, but Jordanian state TV later denied this. His whereabouts are still unknown. Hijab's departure is one of the most high profile desertions from al-Assad's government.

Written and Presented by Ann Salter