External Content

The following content is sourced from external partners. We cannot guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) and Defence Minister Mustafa Tlass during a banquet held on the occasion of Syrian Army Day late on August 1, 2000. Handout via REUTERS/File photo

(reuters_tickers)

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria's former defence minister, Mustafa Tlass, who was a close confidant of the late President Hafez al-Assad but left the country after the uprising started, died in Paris on Tuesday aged 85, relatives said.

Tlass left for France saying he was leaving for medical reasons. One of his sons, General Manaf Tlass, later joined him in Paris in one of the highest profile defections from President Bashar al-Assad's rule in the conflict that began in 2011.

Mustafa Tlass attended military academy with Hafez al-Assad and was of his closest aides throughout his 30-year rule.

Born in the town of Rastan in Homs, Tlass was one of the most influential Sunnis in a ruling elite dominated by members of Assad's Alawite clan.

On Assad's death in 2000, Tlass helped arrange a smooth transition for his son Bashar.

"There is an effort to bring his remains to Damascus for burial, otherwise he will be buried in Paris," a relative told Reuters.

(Reporting by Laila Bassam; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Louise Ireland)

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line


subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.







Click here to see more newsletters

swissinfo EN

The following content is sourced from external partners. We cannot guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.

Join us on Facebook!

Reuters