Syria’s military police chief has defected, saying he felt that the army was no longer acting in the people’s best interest.

“I am Major General Abdul Aziz Jassem al-Shallal, chief of the military police in Syria, I declare my defection from the regime’s army,” he said Tuesday in a video aired by news channel Al Arabiya.

He cited the army’s “deviation from its fundamental mission to protect the nation, and transformation into gangs of killing and destruction,” according to the video that was also posted online.

Al-Shallal was speaking from near the Turkish border and said he had been waiting for the right circumstances to defect.

“Definitely, there are other high-ranking officers who want to defect,” but close monitoring by the government “is not suitable for them to declare defection,” he said.

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