Family Source: Syrian general close to Assad defects

July 6, 2012 11:53

BEIRUT - Syrian Brigadier-General Manaf Tlas, who headed a unit of the elite Republican Guard and was a long-time ally of President Bashar Assad, has left Damascus and is on his way to Paris, a close family friend told Reuters on Friday.

Tlas, in his mid 40s, arrived in Turkey on Thursday from Syria and was making his way to France where his father Mustafa Tlas, a former defense minister, now lives, said the family friend.

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