Paris Says Syria Defector Tlass in Contact with Oppositionإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
A top Syrian military official who defected last week, General Manaf Tlass, has been in contact with the country's opposition, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Thursday,
"I know that there is some closeness between the opposition and this general... contacts have been made," Fabius told journalists, without confirming that Tlass was in Paris as believed.
Tlass, the highest-ranking military officer to have abandoned the Syrian regime, was a member of the inner circle of power in Syria, and a childhood friend of President Bashar Assad.
A general in the elite Republican Guard charged with protecting the regime, he is the son of former defense minister Mustafa Tlass, a close friend of Assad's late father and predecessor, Hafez.
Several sources have said that he was either headed for Paris, where much of the Syrian political opposition is based, or was already there.