Syrian military police chief defects

Beirut – The head of Syria’s military police has defected from the army and declared allegiance to the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to a video and a security source.

“I am General Abdelaziz Jassim al-Shalal, head of the military police. I have defected because of the deviation of the army from its primary duty of protecting the country and its transformation into gangs of killing and destruction,” the officer said in a video published on YouTube.

A Syrian security source confirmed the defection, but played down its significance, saying Shalal was due to retire and had defected to “play hero”.

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