“Religion is the last refuge of these scoundrels……..” Paraphrased by Me
“Brigadier-General Manaf Tlas hails from a family with a long history in the Syrian military establishment starting from his father former Syrian Defense Minister Lieutenant General Mustafa Tlas to his cousins who defected from the Syrian regime. Tlas’s defection dealt a severe blow to the Syrian regime not only because he is the son of a former defense minister, but also because of his own rank in the army. Tlas comes from Rastan in the Homs governorate. Homs was, in fact, the main reason for the fallout between Manaf Tlas and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Tlas asked Assad to stop military operations in Homs, which at the time, had claimed the lives of hundreds of Syrians. Manaf Tlas, commander of the Republican Guard’s 105th brigade, is the second son of Mustafa Tlas, who was minister of defense from 1972 during the reign of Hafez al-Assad, to 2004, four years after Bashar al-Assad inherited power following his father’s death. Bashar al-Assad dismissed Mustafa Tlas, who he saw as a member of the “old guard,” one year before the assassination of his friend former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri…………….”
This is too cute, from the semi-official Saudi royal mouthpiece Alarabiya. They even add a bit of fantasy hint about how his father Mustafa Tlass was retired in order for ‘someone’ to be able to kill Hariri. Oh, yeah: Tlass was the protector of Hariri the al-Saud man in Lebanon. Suddenly the whole Tlass family, partners in the looting and repression of Syria for many decades, are presented as saviors of Syria. Saviors of Syria from their own past.
Suddenly Manaf Tlass makes the obligatory Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca, a symbolic political gesture in this case devoid of religion. This Umrah was like a political campaign gesture in the West. It was a political gesture meant to satisfy the al-Saud, their Wahhabi shaikhs, and the Muslim Brotherhood-Salafi forces that control the opposition movement inside Syria.
This Umrah also indicates that the al-Saud princes now own Manaf Tlass: lock, stock, and barrel. He is their prize possession that will help rule Syria the way the al-Saud want it to be ruled. Maybe the way the Western powers want it to be ruled.