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White House calls reported defections among 'courageous' top Syrian officials encouraging
WASHINGTON (AP) ' The White House is calling reports of more defections among senior Syrian government officials a good sign the regime is cracking from within.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest says he can't confirm reports from Turkey that a pair of Syrian generals, as well as other military personnel, have defected.
Those reports followed word that Syria's deputy oil minister has defected, and recorded a scathing denunciation of the Assad regime that was posted on YouTube.
Earnest calls the reported defections a "courageous step" that backs up the U.S. view that Syrian President Bashar Assad will fall.
For the past year, Syria's government has tried to crush a popular uprising inspired by the Arab Spring movements. The U.N. says more than 7,500 people have been killed.