Another prominent Syrian diplomat has resigned from his post to protest the brutal crackdown on opponents by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad after more than 15,000 people have died in 16 months of clashes.

While Khaled al-Ayoubi, Syria’s former top envoy in London, has not officially defected yet, he is reportedly believed to be contemplating such a measure.

Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement: “Mr. al-Ayoubi has told us that he 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.”

The UK government added: “Mr. al-Ayoubi was the most senior Syrian diplomat serving in London. His departure is another blow to the Assad regime. It illustrates the revulsion and despair the regime’s actions are provoking amongst Syrians from all walks of life, inside the country and abroad. We urge others around Bashar Al-Assad to follow Mr. al-Ayoubi’s example; to disassociate themselves from the crimes being committed against the Syrian people and to support a peaceful and free future for Syria.”

The Daily Telegraph reported that al-Ayoubi and his family are in a safe location in the UK.