Syria's ambassador to Iraq is reported -- by Syrian opposition sources -- to have defected in protest at the crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad's forces against a 16-month revolt.
If confirmed, Nawaf al-Fares would be the first serving Syrian envoy to defect.
Mohamed Sermini of the main exiled opposition group, the Syrian National Council was quoted as saying that this is just the beginning of a series of defections by diplomats.
Iraqi government sources tell RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq they have no information on the reported defection.
Last week a top Syrian general in the Republican Guard ,Manaf Tlass, fled Syria.
Based on reporting by Reuters, "The New York Times," and Al-Arabiya