Syrian government is feeling more pressure

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Associated Press

Posted on December 26, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 26 at 8:04 PM

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's government is finding itself under increasing pressure from inside and outside the country.

The country's interior minister cut short his treatment at a hospital in Lebanon today and flew home -- because he was afraid he was going to be arrested by Lebanese authorities. He was undergoing treatment for injuries suffered in a bombing attack on his headquarters.

A top Lebanese security official says the interior minister was rushed out of Lebanon after authorities received information that international arrest warrants could be issued against him because of his role in the deadly crackdown against protesters in Syria.

Meanwhile, Syria's chief of military police has quit and is joining the opposition. He becomes one of the most senior members of Bashar Assad's regime to join the opposition during the 21-month-old revolt against him.

Assad is also seeing military setbacks, with government bases falling to rebels near Damascus and elsewhere across the country. Activists today say rebels have launched an attack on a military base in northern Syria, near a strategic town. The base has been under siege for weeks.

%@AP Links

083-v-30-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)--A top Syrian commander has defected to the rebels. More from AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie in Cairo. (26 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *083 (12/26/12)>> 00:30

085-c-12-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)-"the people's revolution"-AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie in Cairo reports a Syrian general has defected and joined the rebels. (26 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *085 (12/26/12)>> 00:12 "the people's revolution"

APPHOTO CAI105: In this image made from video broadcast on Al Arabiya TV late Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, Syrian Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Jassem al-Shallal makes remarks saying he is joining "the people's revolution." The general who heads Syria's military police has defected and joined the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime, one of the highest walkouts by a serving security chief during the country's 21-month uprising, a pan Arab TV station has reported.(AP Photo/Al Arabiya via AP video)TV OUT NO SALES (26 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO CAI105 (12/26/12)>>

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