A Syrian ubiquitous and personal crony of President Bashar al-Assad has reportedly defected and fled Syria forward of “Friends of Syria” talks in Paris between Western and Arab leaders.
Opposition activists have told Al Jazeera pronounced that Manaf Tlas, a brigade commander in Assad’s Republican Guard, has fled to Turkey and will shortly announce that he deserted Assad given of annoy during municipal deaths.
The sources pronounced Tlas had left his central position and was roving to Paris, where some of his family lives, on Friday .
If Tlas, who attended troops college with a 46-year-old Assad, throws his support behind a opposition, he would be a closest member of a Syrian leader’s middle round to switch sides during the 16-month uprising.
Tlas is a son of Mustafa Tlas, who served as counterclaim apportion for 30 years underneath former boss Hafez al-Assad and quickly underneath his son, a stream president.
A declare in Damascus pronounced by write that Tlas’ chateau in Damascus was ransacked on Thursday by confidence agents after these reports.
Riad al-Asaad, the commander with a Free Syrian Army, told Al Jazeera from Turkey: “Our people picked [Tlas] adult from a borders with Syria”. Asaad said on Thursday that he had not nonetheless met with Tlas.
Ankara did not immediately endorse a reports. Syriasteps, a news website tighten to Assad’s confidence services, quoted a Syrian central as observant Tlas was in Turkey.
Syriasteps wrote: “His abandonment means nothing. If Syrian comprehension had wanted to detain him it would have.”
A source in a antithesis pronounced a family of Tlas had reliable his defection.
“It’s a really critical defection,” a source said. “His brigade is really trustworthy to their general, so we can contend a loyal desertion has started.”
A US official, vocalization on condition of anonymity from Washington, said, “General Tlas is a vast name and his apparent preference to embankment Assad hurts, even yet it substantially didn’t come as a surprise”.
“Tlas newly seems to have been on a outs, though he’s got glamour and some smarts. If he joins a insurgents, that could be significant,” a central said.
The Tlas family is from Rastan, in central Homs province, a city that has seen vast anti-government protests given a overthrow began in Mar 2011.
Rastan after witnessed complicated fighting between regime army and members of a Free Syrian Army. It is now mostly underneath a control of a opposition.
According to a source with tighten ties to Damascus, Tlas had embarked on several catastrophic settlement missions between regime loyalists and rebels in Rastan and a southern range of Daraa.
A member in a chosen Republican Guard, that is tasked with safeguarding a regime, Tlas was sidelined some-more than a year ago, after he was deemed unreliable.
Months after he gave adult his troops uniform and opted for municipal clothing. He set adult chateau in Damascus, where he let his brave and hair grow long.
Another source in Damascus told AFP news group that Tlas’ family with a authorities became unsuited after a regime’s extreme conflict on a Homs district of Bab Amr in Feb this year.
The father of Tlas, who served as counterclaim apportion between 1972 and 2004, was in office during a 1982 Hama Massacre, that reportedly left between 20,000 and 48,000 people dead.
Many antithesis activists accuse the comparison Tlas of complicity, and have called for him to be prosecuted for fight crimes.
Another member of a Tlas family is Abdul Razzak Tlas, a renouned commander of a FSA in Homs and a former First Lieutenant in a a Syrian army who defected final year.
Ahmet Davutoglu, unfamiliar apportion of Turkey, pronounced defections valid that a Syrian supervision is crumbling.
“There are soldiers escaping, they are stating to us that they are being educated to conflict people and given of that they had to shun in sequence not to kill civilians,” Davutoglu told France 24 television.
“Every day, generals, colonels, officers are coming, and we have, we think, around 20 generals and maybe 100 high-rank officers, colonels.”
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