The deputy police commander in the central province of Homs was the latest to join a steady trickle of desertions, said an official in the opposition Higher Revolution Council group.
“Brigadier General Ibrahim al-Jabawi has crossed into Jordan,” the official told Reuters from Amman.
At least 20 people were killed on Sunday in the second day of an armored offensive to retake the northern Damascus suburb of al-Tel from rebels, opposition activists said.
Heavy artillery barrages were hitting the Sunni Muslim town as loyalist troops made a renewed push after an attempt to storm Tel on Saturday was repelled, several activists and Free Syrian Army sources in the area said.
The Arab League said it had postponed a meeting of Arab foreign ministers scheduled for Sunday to discuss the Syria crisis and to select a replacement for Kofi Annan, the United Nations-Arab League envoy, and would set a new date.
Deputy Arab League chief Ahmed Ben Helli told Reuters the meeting was delayed because of a minor operation undergone by Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are the leading regional supporters of the Syrian opposition. Assad’s main backers are Iran and Lebanon’s Shi’ite Hezbollah movement.
(Additional reporting by Tom Perry in Beirut, Khaled Yacoub Oweis in Amman and Ayman Samir in Cairo; Writing by Alistair Lyon; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Jon Hemming)