July 6th, 2012
08:21 AM ET

High ranking general defects from Syrian military

By Elise Labott and Joe Sterling

Manaf Tlas, a Sunni general in Syria's elite Republican Guards, has defected, a Western diplomat said Friday, a stunning blow to the Bashar al-Assad regime.

Tlas, the son of a former Syrian defense minister and cousin of a first lieutenant in al-Assad's army, is possibly the most senior Sunni in a power structure dominated by the Alawite minority.

"He's an inside confidant of Assad. So it counts that even an insider thinks it's time to go," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official was not authorized to speak to the media.

Syria has been engulfed in nearly 16 months of unrest. Thousands have died as Syrian government assaults against protesters led to a nationwide uprising.

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Filed under: Assad • Syria
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Aaron Chaney

    Covetousness is a sin. Translation: Tunisia only has received proper remuneration during the so-called Arab Spring because they are an original. All the rest i.e. Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and yes Syria, are all covetous copycats.

    July 9, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
  2. Travis

    Just out of sheer curiosity here, I wish to know just how much the C.I.A. paid this Syrian general Manaf Tlas to defect. Now this low life is going to live like a king in France or somewhere for the rest of his life, compliments of the American taxpayer!

    July 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  3. CLINTON leaves obama in the dust of failure

    IF AMERICA HAD WISE LEADERSHIP , thousands of women & children would still be alive .

    assad must go but the wild fire of the other guys must filtered through the POWER OF UNITY OF BOTH AMERICA & RUSSIA .
    WHERE IS REAGAN & BUSH SENIOR when they are needed so badly ? ROMNEY has a life record of 65 years of stability of success both in his private & public life .

    fire the looser & VOTE FOR THE STABILITY OF AMERICAN SUCCESS , ROMNEY IS THAT MAN !

    July 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • Travis

      Gee whiz, you sound like you never got past the 6th grade in school by posting that idiotic statement above. Where is your shame?

      July 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Reply

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