A Syrian army general who defected last week is reportedly in contact with opposition forces, France's foreign minister announced Thursday.
Brigadier-General Manaf Tlas's current whereabouts are unknown, though French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius seemed to have some knowledge regarding his activities, saying that contact has been made between Tlas and Syrian opposition forces without providing any further details and declining to confirm whether Tlas was in France.
Tlas' defection comes as a serious blow to the Syrian regime as he was considered a close confidante of President Bashar al-Assad.
TLAS has not spoken publicly since his defection and it remains unclear whether he would support the opposition's objective to overthrow Assad.
In contrast, Syria's former Ambassador to Iraq Nawaf Fares, who announced his resignation Wednesday, publicly declared his support for the opposition.
I call on all party members to do the same because the regime has transformed it into a tool to oppress the people and their aspirations to freedom and dignity, Fares said in a television broadcast.
I announce, from this moment on, that I am siding with the people's revolution in Syria, my natural place in these difficult circumstances which Syria is going through.