Defected general Tlas calls for building a free, united Syria

Defected Syrian Brigadier-General Manaf Tlas called on Syrians to unite and look towards a post-revolutionary Syria, in a statement broadcast exclusively on Al Arabiya late Tuesday.

“I speak to you as a defected member of the Syrian army, who refuses criminal violence … I speak to you as one of the sons of Syria,” Tlas said, dressed in a light blue shirt with an open collar, his gray hair tussled.

The former general was believed to be speaking from Paris.

“Honorable Syrian army officers do not accept the criminal acts in Syria … Allow me to serve Syria after [President Bashar] al-Assad’s era.

“We must all unite to serve Syria and promote stability in the country, rebuilding a free and democratic Syria.”

“Allow me to call on a united Syria,” Tlas added.

Tlass said the “new Syria … should not be built on revenge, exclusion or monopoly.”

He said he did not blame those troops who have not defected, adding that “whatever mistakes made by some members of the Syrian Arab Army … those honorable troops who have not partaken in the killing … are the extension of the (rebel) Free Syrian Army.”

It was his first public appearance since he left Syria earlier this month. French officials later confirmed that he was in France.

His long silence raised questions about whether he had joined the anti-Assad uprising or merely fled the civil war.

Tlass is the highest-level defector from the Syrian regime since the conflict started some 16 months ago.

He was a member of the elite Republican Guard and son of former Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass, who served under Assad’s father.

Activist group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said earlier this week that more than 2,750 people have been killed in Syria so far this month, bringing the death toll since the conflict began to more than 19,000.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced the defection of Tlas at a Friends of Syria meeting on July 6 in Paris.

His defection was hailed in Western capitals as a key setback for the regime while the opposition umbrella group the Syrian National Council called it an “enormous blow” to Assad.

“Regime insiders and the military establishment are starting to vote with their feet,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said of the defection. “Those who have the closest knowledge of Assad’s actions and crimes are moving away, and we think that’s a very promising development.”

Tlas is in Paris with his family and had so far refused to speak publically. French President Francois Hollande confirmed earlier in July his presence in the country.

Fabius later said that Paris was aware that Tlas was in talks with the Syrian opposition about a possible role in efforts to oust Assad.

Al Arabiya

  • One can think he is a kind of a saint. But This Tlass with his father were responsible themselves to the atrocities of both Hafez and Bashar including the murder of tens of thousands of Sunnis in 1982 or the occupation and numerous killings in Lebanon. I also remember how Mustafa Tlass, the father, was trying to ruin Yasser Arafat’s rule and called Arafat : “The son of a 1000 bitches”. The Tlass family share the responsibility for harbouring anti-PLO and anti-peace organizations in Damascus that did all they can to ruin the delicate peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

    It seems that more than Tlass wants to save the Syrians, he is interested in saving himself and his family, after he got the conclusion that Assad’s opponents may win the war.

    • dateam

      alot of this will start happening now…the other problem is the west is looking for alternate leadership…who is there? he looks like a bit of a pretty boy

  • One can think he is a kind of a saint. But This Tlass with his father were responsible themselves to the atrocities of both Hafez and Bashar including the murder of tens of thousands of Sunnis in 1982 or the occupation and numerous killings in Lebanon. I also remember how Mustafa Tlass, the father, was trying to ruin Yasser Arafat’s rule and called Arafat : “The son of a 1000 bitches”. The Tlass family share the responsibility for harbouring anti-PLO and anti-peace organizations in Damascus that did all they can to ruin the delicate peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

    It seems that more than Tlass wants to save the Syrians, he is interested in saving himself and his family, after he got the conclusion that Assad’s opponents may win the war.

    • dateam

      alot of this will start happening now…the other problem is the west is looking for alternate leadership…who is there? he looks like a bit of a pretty boy

  • wargame1

    These are the pawns of the western super power. They know that Assad is going down although they are still trying to fix him!! But at the same time peaking up the subsequent stooge mostly who are stationed in France like Khomeini. 

    This will be difficult as it seems. America ,Russia,Europe are all more or less exhausted due to Afghan ,Iraq and Libya invasion. Their stooge Iran is still going good and inspired by their 12 imam who is hiding in a cave for the Last 1200 years!!.But overambitious action or double crossing by Iran and Russia can make other party worry 

    China is yet intact. Israel itself love to let others to fight for its war but this time Israel do need to participate physically. They have been pulling the string from behind for decades but those strings are now worn out and can break at anytime.

    A lot of hard work for the Self appointed Guardian of the world this time; Giving order from the head office is not working since Saddam Hussain started defying and in consequence the Middle East invasion started therefore a physical intervention become inevitable for Emperor wherever it likes to boss around which is costly and risky…

    • breakthemould

       His long silence after arriving in Paris was perhaps due to his time negotiating a price from Saudi Arabia. It seems that now he go the price he wanted and ready to act on behalf of the Saudi’s. One qualification he has is that he is Sunni. How come these people only surface once the going for the regime has gone negative. Where was he all those years during which people were being tortured in prisons and freedom was denied. The leopard does not change it’s spots and he is tarnished with the colours and behaviour of the regime. We need fresh faces with fresh attitudes. Not ex republican guards?

      • dateam

        money talks bro………..

      • breakthemould

         He would do very well in Hollywood, just find a producer to pick him:
        Let us have a vote
        Manaf Mitchaum
        Manaf Dean
        Manaf Lancaster
        Manaf Curtis
        Manaf Flyn
        Manaf Brando
        Manaf Peck
        Manaf Olivier
        Manaf Gable
        Manaf Cooper
        Manaf Newman
        Which one for President?

  • wargame1

    These are the pawns of the western super power. They know that Assad is going down although they are still trying to fix him!! But at the same time peaking up the subsequent stooge mostly who are stationed in France like Khomeini. 

    This will be difficult as it seems. America ,Russia,Europe are all more or less exhausted due to Afghan ,Iraq and Libya invasion. Their stooge Iran is still going good and inspired by their 12 imam who is hiding in a cave for the Last 1200 years!!.But overambitious action or double crossing by Iran and Russia can make other party worry 

    China is yet intact. Israel itself love to let others to fight for its war but this time Israel do need to participate physically. They have been pulling the string from behind for decades but those strings are now worn out and can break at anytime.

    A lot of hard work for the Self appointed Guardian of the world this time; Giving order from the head office is not working since Saddam Hussain started defying and in consequence the Middle East invasion started therefore a physical intervention become inevitable for Emperor wherever it likes to boss around which is costly and risky…

    • breakthemould

       His long silence after arriving in Paris was perhaps due to his time negotiating a price from Saudi Arabia. It seems that now he go the price he wanted and ready to act on behalf of the Saudi’s. One qualification he has is that he is Sunni. How come these people only surface once the going for the regime has gone negative. Where was he all those years during which people were being tortured in prisons and freedom was denied. The leopard does not change it’s spots and he is tarnished with the colours and behaviour of the regime. We need fresh faces with fresh attitudes. Not ex republican guards?

      • dateam

        money talks bro………..

      • breakthemould

         He would do very well in Hollywood, just find a producer to pick him:
        Let us have a vote
        Manaf Mitchaum
        Manaf Dean
        Manaf Lancaster
        Manaf Curtis
        Manaf Flyn
        Manaf Brando
        Manaf Peck
        Manaf Olivier
        Manaf Gable
        Manaf Cooper
        Manaf Newman
        Which one for President?

  • 5thDrawer

    Sometimes a concience comes late. Good to know it can in some humans.
    Perhaps he will just retire from the scene – a smarter thing to do.
    Forgiveness is too hard for most.

  • 5thDrawer

    Sometimes a concience comes late. Good to know it can in some humans.
    Perhaps he will just retire from the scene – a smarter thing to do.
    Forgiveness is too hard for most.

  • Prophettttt

    Arab leaders discovered that their countries had plenty of oil in the thirties, and they discovered that their countries has people last year only. Tlas has just discovered that Syria has been ruled by a dictatorship.He had no clue all these years;His father never informed him, nor did his best friend Bashar. The truth is that this guy felt a sinking ship,and decided to bail out. I ‘m so fed up with hypocrisy in politics,and in the media, and especially in Arab media.

  • Prophettttt

    Arab leaders discovered that their countries had plenty of oil in the thirties, and they discovered that their countries has people last year only. Tlas has just discovered that Syria has been ruled by a dictatorship.He had no clue all these years;His father never informed him, nor did his best friend Bashar. The truth is that this guy felt a sinking ship,and decided to bail out. I ‘m so fed up with hypocrisy in politics,and in the media.