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    France hails defection of top Syrian general

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    Al Jazeera English

    by Al Jazeera English

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    Lauren Fabius, the French foreign minister, has called the desertion of general Manaf Tlas a blow to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. If confirmed, he would be the highest-ranking military official to have left Syria since the uprising there began nearly 18 months ago. The announcement came at the Friends of Syria summit in Paris. Al Jazeera's Peter Sharp reports from Paris.