US, allies press Assad as top Syrian general flees
PARIS — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday hailed an accelerating wave of defections in President Bashar Assad's inner circle as the United States and its international allies pleaded once again for global sanctions against the Syrian regime. Frustrated by the slow pace of diplomacy, Clinton lambasted Russia and China for standing in the way.
Speaking after a 100-nation conference in Paris, Clinton said Syria's "regime insiders and the military establishment are starting to vote with their feet" by abandoning the four-decade Assad dynasty. She spoke after Western officials reported top Assad aide aide Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass had left the country.
"Those with the closest knowledge of Assad's actions and crimes are moving away," Clinton told reporters. "We think that is a very promising development. It also raises questions for those remaining in Damascus, who are still supporting this regime."
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