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Word spreads of defected Syrian general

6 years ago23 views

reuters

Reuters

As world leaders meet at the "Friends of Syria" conference in Paris, word spreads that a top Syrian general has defected and is en route to France.

France's foreign minister confirmed the story, explaining that general Manaf Tlas, who went to military college with Assad, fled to Turkey last week and is now expected to arrive in France.

Many welcomed the news, believing that it could mean the Assad regime is crumbling.

A member of the Syrian opposition, however, warned the move may not be a good sign.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) KAMAL LABWANI, MEMBER OF SYRIAN OPPOSITION SAYING SAYING:

''He is definitely not a hero and he definitely did not defect because of a difference of intellect. He defected for two reasons: first, he was humiliated, second for sectarian reasons."

However, if the general stands behind the Syrian opposition, he will be the highest ranking official from the Assad regime to have switched sides since uprisings in Syria began 16 months ago.

Sarah Sheffer, Reuters

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