WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon is cheering the defection of a Syrian general and expressing hope that it triggers more high-level cracks in the regime.
A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. John Kirby, said the U.S. considers the defection of Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlaas to be significant because he once was a member of the regime's inner circle. He is a son of a former Syrian defense minister who was friends with the father of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Kirby said he was unaware of any contact that U.S. authorities may have had with the general since he left Syria. It is not clear where Tlaas is.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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