Syrian pilot defects
Photo: AFP
Syrian soldiers
Photo: AFP

Report: 39 Syrian military defect to Turkey

Group of 224 including general, two colonels cross into Turkey overnight, Turkish news agency reports

A Syrian general, two colonels, two majors, one lieutenant and 33 soldiers have defected from President Bashar Assad's forces and arrived in Turkey, Turkish state television said on Monday, without giving any further details.


The private news channel CNN Turk also reported the defections of the soldiers, but said they had arrived with members of their families, making a total of 224 individuals.


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The Anadolu Agency said Monday that the group crossed into Turkey overnight. They were being hosted at a refugee camp near the border.


There was no further information on the group.


Thousands of soldiers have abandoned the regime, but most are low-level conscripts. The Free Syria Army - the loosely linked group of rebel forces - is made up largely of defectors.


Defectors affiliated with the Free Syrian Army and based in Turkey are known to collect food and other supplies to deliver to comrades on smuggling routes.


Reuters and AP contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 06.25.12, 12:39
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