General said to defect from Assad inner circle
Reuters / Mariam Karouny and Oliver Holmes
05-Jul-2012 (one comment)

BEIRUT (Reuters) - In what would be the most high-profile defection from the inner circle of the Syrian leadership, Manaf Tlas, a friend of President Bashar al-Assad and a brigadier in his Republican Guard, was reported on Wednesday to have fled to Turkey...."His defection is big news because it shows that the inner circle is disintegrating."

Tlas commanded a brigade of the Republican Guard, an elite, praetorian force commanded by Assad's feared brother Maher, one of the architects of a bloody crackdown on 16 months of dissent and rebellion in which more than 15,000 people have been killed.

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Syrian regime destroys 4 Turkish trucks inside Syria

by FG on

Since this morning there have been rumors that a convoy of commercial vehicles from Turkey were fired on in northern Syria, specifically in the embattled town of Azzaz (or Izaz, map).

Now,Zaman News, perhaps one of Turkey's most respected papers, reports that 4 vehicles, reportedly simultaneously attacked by helicopters and gunfire from troops and armored vehicles.

According to the report, the vehicles were carrying textiles from Jordan, through Aleppo, and were on their way to Killis, Turkey, and points beyond when the vehicles were attacked.

--From an Enduring America news roundup