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 ClintonMueller moves ahead with Papadopoulos sentencing What's wrong with the Democratic Party? Just look at California BBC: Ukraine paid Cohen 0K to set up talks with Trump 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.