(AP) The U.S. is lifting sanctions against Syria's former prime minister after he announced that he is backing rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.
The Treasury Department says because Riyad Hijab is no longer a senior official in the Syrian government, he will no longer be subject to an asset freeze.
Hijab left his post as prime minister last week and fled to Jordan with his family. He is the highest ranking political figure to defect from Assad's regime during more than a year of deadly clashes between Syrian government forces and rebels.
On Tuesday, Hijab said Assad's regime was near collapse. He urged other political and military leaders to join the rebels.