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Wednesday
Dec262012

Top Syrian Officer Defects, Says Regime Murdering Innocents

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The commander of Syria’s military police has defected to the rebel side and fled to turkey -- another big blow to President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

General Abdel Aziz Jassem al-Shallal made the announcement in a video posted online. In the statement he said the Syrian army had been reduced to “gangs of murder” and he accused the Assad regime of carrying out massacres in towns and cities across the country.

Dozens of Syrian generals have defected since the uprising began early last year, but this would be one of the most senior.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio