The French language contresubversion blog has been keeping an eye on the Tlass family over the past year and has come across some very interesting links between the Tlass family and members of the far right in France. Frédéric Chatillon, who I've previously mentioned as recently founding the InfoSyrie site, leader and long term associate of the far right Groupe Union Défense, and close friends with Jean-Marie Le Pen, has a communication agency called Riwal.
Riwal was created in March 1995 and it is primarily engaged in communication consulting, direct marketing, book publishing and magazines and mail order, mostly of the far right variety.
After a raid on the GUD pro-Hamas posters were discovered that were linked to Damascus, and allegedly paid for by the Syrian Ministry of Defence, which as the time was led by Manaf Tlass's father, General Moustafa Tlass. The Tlass family themselves have links to publishing, as they own the publishing house Dar Tlass, which published anti-Semitic and Holocaust denial literature. In addition to the previously mentioned posters produced by Riwal Damascus also funded the production of anti-Semitic revisionist texts that were translated into Arabic.
According to the conresubversion blog the links between the Tlass family and French far right go back nearly two decades, if not more
The first contacts between Chatillon and Tlass dating from October 1994: Frédéric Chatillon, during a visit to Damascus, had met to discuss general assistance that it could bring to his movement.What this shows is that the 5 day visit to Syria I reported on yesterday wasn't just a one off event between the far right and Tlass family, but part of an ongoing relationship between the Tlass family and major figures in the French far right. These links need to be exposed at a time when it's rumoured that Tlass will be promoted by the French to be part of any Syrian transitional government.
Many thanks to Stephanie Lamy for all her help.
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