Syria’s Manaf Tlas says French intelligence aided his defection

Syrian Brigadier General Manaf Tlas, previously one of President Bashar al-Assad’s closest aides and currently Syria’s most famous defector, said French intelligence helped his escape after deciding to leave his position in the Republican Guard.

Syrian Brigadier General Manaf Tlas said he is against foreign intervention in Syria yet called upon world powers to arm the Syrian opposition. (Al Arabiya)

“The French intelligence helped me get out of Syria and I thank them for doing so,” he told the French BFM TV.

Tlas explained that although he defected in March, he had realized a long time ago the failure of the regime.

“I started meeting with the revolutionaries since the start of the protests and I realized that the Syrian regime was lying to everyone.”

Tlas said he is against foreign intervention in Syria yet called upon world powers to arm the Syrian opposition.

“The revolutionaries have so far scored many victories and they need more support in order to reach their goals,” he said.

Tlas downplayed the regime’s allegations about the revolutionaries being made up of Jihadists and Islamic extremists.

“There are of course Islamists among the revolutionaries, but they are not more than 20 percent. Syrians are not by nature an extremist people,” Tlas added.

The French intelligence did not comment on Tlas’ statements concerning helping him escape Syria. However, the French Foreign Ministry has been helping several Syrian opposition figures to escape Syria and obtain asylum in recent months.

Source: Al Arabiya

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