A member of Syria's Parliament has defected to Egypt and spoken of leaving behind a "ghost town full of horror."
Imad Ghalioun has represented the city of Homs for five years. He defected with his immediate family two weeks ago after, he says, he convinced the al-Assad regime that he was traveling on business.
Ghalioun told CNN that many senior officials want to defect but it may be harder now because the al-Assad regime banned officials from traveling the day after he left Syria.
"What is happening in Homs is a crisis, a ghost town full of horror," he said.
"The humanitarian situation is dangerous and no basic services, food supplies, or equipped hospitals. Residents can not move from (one) neighborhood to the other because of snipers that kill people. People are sitting at home wondering if they will be bombed."
Ghalioun was withering in his appraisal of Arab League monitors.
"We expected the Arab monitors to stop the regime's killing machine, but what happened is that they came to what seemed like a sightseeing trip," he said.
"Some went to visit the governor; others spent most of their time in five-star hotels. We wanted them to meet the activists on the ground, visit the prisoners and the injured and the families of the martyrs. They did not do that, maybe some wanted to do that but could not do it."FULL STORY