First soldiers. Then diplomats. And now, the Prime Minister. Riad Hijab joined the list of defectors from Syria on Monday. And while his post was largely symbolic, there was no mistaking the power of his act. The cracks in President Bashar Al-Assad's regime have reached the highest levels of his government, and they only appear to be widening.
But while defections are easy to list as names and numbers, they're harrowing, sometimes life-threatening ordeals to those fleeing their countries' governments.
So what does it take to defect? What's the tipping point where everything you've ever known needs to be left behind?
Mohammed Abulahoum was a senior advisor to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. But everything changed on March 18, 2011 when Saleh's security forces massacred dozens of civilians in the streets of Sana'a.