Mideast Syria Defectors Family

July 6, 2012 - 4:39 PM
FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2002 file photo, Syrian President Bashar Assad, center, with Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass, right, and Hassan Turkmany, Chief of Staff, visit the tomb of the unknown soldier, in Damascus, on the occasion of the 29th anniversary of their Liberation War, when Syria and Egypt launched surprise attacks against Israel on Oct. 6, 1973. A top general who has abandoned President Bashar Assad's regime was a longtime friend from Syria's most powerful Sunni family, and his break with the inner circle signals crumbling support from a privileged elite. Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass was a commander in the powerful Republican Guard and the son of former defense minister Mustafa Tlass, who held the post for 32 years until he retired in 2004.(AP Photo/Sana, File)