85 Syrian soldiers, including general, defect to Turkey

July 02, 2012, Monday/ 22:58:00

A Syrian general from an artillery division and seven officers were among dozens of soldiers, mostly serving in Homs province, who defected and fled to Turkey on Monday.

A total of 85 Syrian military officers, including a general, a colonel, a lieutenant colonel, four majors, seven captains and one lieutenant defected and fled to Turkey with their families on Monday night. In total, 293 Syrians have crossed the border into Turkey from Syria through the Reyhanlı and Yayladağı districts in the southern Turkish province of Hatay.

Most of the Syrians fleeing into Turkey are women and children who have been sent to Şanlıurfa province, while military officers and their families are being sent to Apaydın camp in Hatay. Turkey is currently hosting to more than 34,000 Syrians who have fled 16 months of violence in their home country.