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Son of ex-Syrian defense minister confirms defection

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 4:57 pm

BEIRUT – The son of ex-Syrian defense minister Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass confirms his defection and calls for unity to build the country. Tlass, an Assad confidant and son of a former defense minister, defected to France earlier this month.

The Assad family's grip on Syria has never looked so tenuous.

After 17 months of violence and an estimated 17,000 people killed, a lightning-quick turnaround in the momentum of the civil war has put President Bashar Assad's forces on the defensive, a sign that his once-impenetrable family dynasty is wobbling.