(LONDON) -- The Syrian government suffered another major diplomatic setback on Monday with the defection of its top envoy to Britain.
In a statement, Britain's foreign office said that Khaled al-Ayoubi, the chargé d’affaires at the Syrian embassy in London, "is no longer willing to represent a regime that has committed such violent and oppressive acts against its own people, and is therefore unable to continue in his position."
While losing al-Ayoubi certainly won't affect the ground war the Syrian government has waged against opposition forces over the past 17 months, it again shows the deteriorating state of President Bashar al-Assad's regime, once believed to be impervious to any internal strife.
The defections have been picking up steam as of late, with senior military figure Manaf Tlass refusing to remain part of al-Assad's government, along with the former ambassadors to Iraq and the United Arab Emirates.
Syria has become increasingly isolated even as the international community has resisted providing military support for al-Assad's enemies. Russia and China remain Damascus' closest allies but wary of al-Assad taking extreme steps against his own people, including the use of chemical weapons.
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