Syrian Military Police Chief Defects to Rebels

Gen. Shallal Calls Military 'Gangs of Murder and Destruction'

by Jason Ditz, December 26, 2012

Another military leader as defected to Syria’s growing rebellion, this time Major General Abdulaziz al-Shallal, the head of the nation’s military police, who appeared in a video today, reportedly from Turkey, to announce his decision.

Maj. Gen. Shallal appears in uniform in the statement, and accused the Syrian Army of being a collection of “gangs of murder and destruction.” He also claimed others were planning to defect, but had yet to be able to.

The US State Department praised Shallal’s defection, saying it proved that regime change was “inevitable.” The Free Syrian Army claimed Shallal’s defection required him to cross the border on horseback for some inscrutable reason.

Syrian government officials downplayed the significance of the defection, noting that Shallal was nearing retirement at any rate. As is so often the case, however, the battle will be primarily about international public opinion rather than the practical matter of the war on the ground, as rebels remain focused on convincing NATO to invade and install them outright.

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