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Head of Syrian military police defects

The head of Syria's military police has defected from the army and joined the rebels.

The head of Syria's military police has defected from the army.

BEIRUT - The head of Syria's military police has defected from the army and declared allegiance to the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to a video and a security source.

"I am General Abdelaziz Jassim al-Shalal, head of the military police. I have defected because of the deviation of the army from its primary duty of protecting the country and its transformation into gangs of killing and destruction," the officer said in a video published on YouTube.

A Syrian security source confirmed the defection but played down its significance, saying that Shalal was due to retire and had defected to "play hero."