PARIS - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday an increasing stream of defectors from the Syrian army, including a Syrian general who had been close to President Bashar Assad, showed the situation was shifting in the country.

"If people like him, and like the generals and colonels and others who have recently defected to Turkey are any indication, regime insiders and the military establishment are starting to vote with their feet," Clinton told reporters in Paris.

Clinton earlier urged world powers at a "Friends of Syria" meeting to show Russia and China they would pay a price for impeding progress towards a democratic transition in Syria. Participants in the meeting were cheered by reports of the defection of army general Manaf Tlas.

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