Syria's Top Commander Switches His Loyalty to Join Rebels

As a bold encouragement to the ongoing Syrian uprisings against its President, Basher al-Assad, the hitherto trusted head of Syria's military police has defected from the army and has declared his allegiance with the rebels.  Major General Abdelaziz Jassim al-Shalal confirmed his defection in a video broadcast on al-Arabiya TV late on the previous Tuesday, saying he was joining "the people's revolution."  Although the defection came as a shock to the Syrian government, a delegation of Syrian officials headed to Moscow the next day to discuss proposals for ending the conflict following talks with U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus this week.  The envoy has been camping in Syria for a week of talks with government officials and some dissidents but has so far said nothing about any new proposals or developments. Earlier this month, Mr. Brahimi held important meetings including the government, Russia -- Syria's main arms supplier and an Assad ally -- and the...(Read Full Article)

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