Syrian general allied with Assad defects

News of the defection was first reported on the pro-Assad website Syria Steps, which said he made an “escape,” calling his leave “insignificant,” according to the BBC.

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French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Tlas’s defection was a “hard blow for the regime,” according to the BBC.

"Even those close to Assad have begun to understand that one cannot support a slaughterer like Bashar al-Assad," Fabius said.

The defection comes as Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax hit by earlier hack | What to know about Kaspersky controversy | Officials review EU-US privacy pact Overnight Tech: Equifax hit by earlier undisclosed hack | Facebook takes heat over Russian ads | Alt-right Twitter rival may lose domain MORE is in Paris for the “Friends of Syria” conference, the latest in a series of meetings between nations hoping to find a solution to the crisis in Syria.

Russia and China, who have blocked further United Nations action in Syria, did not attend the meeting.