Senior Damascus intelligence officer defects to Jordan: TV

AMMAN Sun Aug 5, 2012 1:19pm EDT

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AMMAN (Reuters) - A senior Syrian intelligence officer has defected to Jordan, Al Arabiya television reported on Sunday.

It said Colonel Yarub Shara was head of the Damascus branch of Political Security, an intelligence organization responsible for monitoring and suppressing dissent.

Jordanian officials were not immediately available to comment on the report.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, fighting a 17-month-old uprising against his rule, named his former intelligence chief in Lebanon, Rustum Ghazaleh, to head Political Security last month. It was part of a series of appointments following the assassination of four members of his inner circle.

(Reporting by Dominic Evans; Editing by Pravin Char)

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