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Updated Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 04:16 AM

Report: Top Syrian general joins opposition

The Associated Press

A pan-Arab TV station says the general who heads Syria's military police has defected and joined the uprising against President Bashar Assad.

Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Jassem al-Shallal has appeared in a video aired on Al Arabiya TV saying he is joining "the people's revolution."

In the video aired late Tuesday, al-Shallal said the army deviated from its mission of protecting the nation and became "a gang for killing and destruction."

Dozens of generals have defected since Syria's crisis began in March 2011 but al-Shallal is one of the most senior and held a top post at the time that he left.

In July, Manaf Tlass, a Syrian general, was the first member of Assad's inner circle to break ranks and join the opposition.


AP
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, right, meets with UN Arab League deputy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus, Syria, Monday, Dec. 24.




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