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Syrian Army General and Son Defect to Jordan

A high-ranking officer in the Syrian Army and his son have defected to Jordan. He said morale in Pres. Bashar al-Assad’s regime is low.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 3/17/2013, 10:28 AM

Gov't shelling in Joba, Damascus
Gov't shelling in Joba, Damascus
Reuters

A high-ranking officer in the Syrian Army and his son have defected to Jordan. He said morale in Pres. Bashar al-Assad’s regime is low.

Major-General Mohammed Ezz al-Din Khalouf, who headed the army branch dealing with supplies and fuel, announced his new status in a video statement over the weekend.  Khalouf, dressed in civilian attire, was shown sitting next to his son, Captain Ezz al-Din Khalouf, who headed a reconnaissance unit. The two were sitting with an opposition fighter.

The general said in his statement that Hizbullah terrorists are fighting alongside government forces in “more than one place” but gave no further information.

He also said that many within the government have lost faith in the regime but continue to do their jobs in order to allow Assad to display a show of broad support to the international public at large.

“This is for the sake of appearances, for the regime to present an image to the international community that it pulls together all parts of Syrian society under this regime,” Khalouf explained.

There was no immediate comment from the Syrian government.

The video was broadcast on the Saudi Arabia-based pan-Arabic Al Arabiya news channel, but the footage could not be verified.