Four Syrian army generals arrive in Turkey after abandoning Assad regime


Four generals who had defected from the Syrian army arrived in Turkey Friday, Anatolia news agency reported, citing local Turkish sources.

The four were among some 10 high-ranking army officers stationed in cities including Damascus, Homs and Latakia, who crossed the border into Turkey’s southern province of Hatay to join the Syrian rebels, the state-run Turkish agency said.

The number of Syrians crossing into Turkey in one single day reached 234, it added, citing Yusuf Guler, the district governor of Hatay’s Reyhanli village.

The arriving refugees are being placed in tent camps in Hatay, where members of the rebel Free Syrian Army, made up of deserters from the Syrian security forces, are also based.

Recent weeks have seen an influx in the numbers of civilians fleeing the country as Bashar al-Assad’s regime intensified its crackdown on opposition neighborhoods.

Around 800 Syrians crossed into Turkey over the last week, upping the figure for the past month to 2,500, officials told AFP on Thursday.

The total number since the unrest began a year ago stands at almost 12,000, but these are only the Syrians who have been registered by the authorities as they entered Turkey.

Turkish authorities are readying for a scenario involving the mass arrival of refugees and establishing a container city in Kilis, some 150 kilometers (95 miles) from the Hatay camps.

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