Report: Top Syrian general joins opposition

This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrians standing near a damaged vehicle at the scene after an attack in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/SANA)

This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrians standing near a damaged vehicle at the scene after an attack in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/SANA)

BEIRUT (AP) — A pan-Arab TV station says the general who heads Syria's military police has defected and joined the uprising against President Bashar Assad.

Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Jassem al-Shallal has appeared in a video aired on Al Arabiya TV saying he is joining "the people's revolution."

In the video aired late Tuesday, al-Shallal said the army deviated from its mission of protecting the nation and became "a gang for killing and destruction."

Dozens of generals have defected since Syria's crisis began in March 2011 but al-Shallal is one of the most senior and held a top post at the time that he left.

In July, Manaf Tlass, a Syrian general, was the first member of Assad's inner circle to break ranks and join the opposition.
Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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