Gen­eral de­fects from lead­er­ship

Austin American-Statesman - - ADS -

Syria’s em­bat­tled lead­er­ship suf­fered a new set­back Wed­nes­day with the pub­licly broad­cast de­fec­tion of its mil­i­tary po­lice chief, the high­est-rank­ing of­fi­cer to aban­don Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad since the upris­ing against him be­gan nearly two years ago. Maj. Gen. Ab­du­lAziz Jassem al-Shal­lal an­nounced his move in a video broad­cast by Al Ara­biya, say­ing that he had taken the step be­cause of what he called the Syr­ian mil­i­tary’s de­vi­a­tion from “its fun­da­men­tal mis­sion to pro­tect the na­tion and trans­for­ma­tion into gangs of killing and de­struc­tion.” While the gen­eral’s de­fec­tion was broadly em­braced by op­po­si­tion fig­ures as a ma­jor blow to the government, the gen­eral, a Sunni Mus­lim, was not be­lieved to be a mem­ber of the pres­i­dent’s in­ner cir­cle of ad­vis­ers.

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