Syrian general defects to Turkey, website says

By REUTERS
July 5, 2012 19:19

 
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ANTAKYA, Turkey - A general in the elite Syrian Republican Guards has defected to Turkey, a news website said on Thursday.

It was the first such reported defection of a high-ranking military supporter of President Bashar Assad since the rebellion against him started 16 months ago.

"A high level security source has confirmed the fleeing of General (Manaf) Tlas to Turkey," the Syriasteps website, which has links to the Syrian security apparatus, said, and quoted a security official as saying: "His escape does not mean anything."

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