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A Syrian general and several army officers have fled Syria and defected to Turkey in a string of defections among security ranks in the Syrian army as it intensifies its military crackdown on the armed opposition with a high level of civilian casualties.

42 Syrians, including a general, three colonels, one lt. colonel, one major, two captains, one lieutenant and one major sergeant and their families entered into Turkey at the border village of Bükülmez in Hatay’s Reyhanlı district.

The army officers and their families were taken to the Apaydın camp, where Turkey shelters defected Syrian army members.

With the latest defections, the total number of Syrian generals that defected to Turkey has risen to 50.

This development comes days after Syria’s chief of military police defected to the opposition. Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Jassem al-Shallal, is one of the most senior members of Assad’s regime to join the opposition during the 21-month-old revolt against his authoritarian rule.

Todayszaman

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