Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Merkel in Kiev as aid convoy ‘returns to Russia’

    Read more

  • Suicide bomber targets Iraq intelligence HQ in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Video: Israel bombs kidnapping suspect’s home

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • Ebola prompts Philippines to recall UN troops in Liberia

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • US sued over ‘deportation mill’ in New Mexico

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels in face-to-face talks

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Ferguson

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • US job market yet to recover from recession, says Fed Chair

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Middle east

Syria rebels hail defection of top general

Video by Katharyn GILLAM

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-07-06

Syrian rebels on Friday hailed the defection of Brigadier-General Manaf Tlass (pictured right) from forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad as a "major blow" to the regime and said they were going to "seek cooperation" with him.

AFP - The head of the main opposition Syrian National Council hailed Friday the defection of a top general as a major blow to President Bashar al-Assad's regime and said they wanted to work with him.

"This is a major blow to the Assad regime," Abdel Basset Sayda told journalists at a meeting in Paris. "We cannot comment where he is. We are going to seek some cooperation with him. We call for other defections.

General Munaf Tlass, a son of a former defence minister who is close to Assad and his family, defected three days ago, the highest-ranking military officer to have abandoned the regime.

France, hosting a meeting of about 100 countries from the so-called Friends of Syria group where the SNC leader was speaking, confirmed the defection.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was attending the meeting, said Syrian regime officials and officers were "starting to vote with their feet".

"To those soldiers who are still supporting the regime, the Syrian people will remember the choices you made in the coming days and so will the world," she told journalists.

"It is time to abandon the dictator, embrace your countrymen and women and get on the right side of history."

Tlass, who is in his late 40s, was a member of the inner circle in Syria, and a childhood friend of Bashar al-Assad.

A general in the elite Republican Guard charged with protecting the regime, he is the son of former defence minister Mustafa Tlass, a close friend of Assad's late father and predecessor, Hafez.

 

Date created : 2012-07-06

  • SYRIA-PARIS

    'Friends of Syria' push for tougher sanctions

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Syrian regime running torture network, HRW claims

    Read more

  • TURKEY - SYRIA

    Syrian army chiefs join wave of defections to Turkey

    Read more

COMMENT(S)