In an interview today Syria’s top ranking military defector Gen. Manaf Tlass spoke out in opposition to calls for a foreign invasion to install the rebels as the new government, saying that foreign troops “could not provide a solution” to the ongoing civil war.
Instead, Gen. Tlass says that he believes the rebel FSA is more than capable of defeating the Syrian military on its own, and that Syrians will “achieve victory by themselves.” He did not address reports that the rebel movement is increasingly made up of foreign Islamists.
At the same time, Gen. Tlass hinted at intelligence aid provided by unspecified French “services,” which he credited for helping him escape after his defection from the Syrian military.
Gen. Tlass’ father was Syria’s Defense Minister for 30 years, and he and President Bashar Assad were childhood friends. He said his defection was because of a belief that the government did not intend to follow through on promised reforms.