Syria Live Blog
Former Syrian general Manaf Tlass explains why he defected
Manaf Tlass, the defected Syrian general who was also a close friend of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has given his first interview to Al Sharq Al Awsat, the Arabic newspaper.
The quotes below are excerpts of the interview.
"Leaving Syria was very complicated and it took long time where a group of parties have participated to get me out.
"I did not hesitate to announce my defection as from the very beginning I disagreed with the regime on the way it has dealt with the crisis. I distanced myself for a period of time but the mistakes have aggravated so I preferred to leave.
"I’m not looking for a position but I'm looking for security and stability to Syria. If I had the chance to return to contribute in building Syria as a normal citizen, I would not spare any effort.
"I did not leave Syria to lead the transitional period but I left as I was opposing the security solution in tacking the crisis.
"Being very close friend to (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad, I tried my best to advise him and discuss with him that the security solution is not the wise way to deal with the crisis but all my efforts have gone with the wind. There was a team that was working in the opposite direction. How much I wished he could have listened to me."