At least two Syrian generals are among the many army officers who defected and crossed into Turkey Friday morning amid increasing clashes in northern Syria on the Turkish border, Todays Zaman reported.
A total of 71 Syrians including two generals, 11 colonels, two lieutenant colonels, two majors, four captains and five sergeants, as well as soldiers and family members, crossed into Turkey through the border village of Bükülmez in the Reyhanlı district of Hatay province.
The generals and army officers were taken to Hatay's Apaydın camp, where defected army officers are being sheltered.
Seven generals who recently defected from the Syrian army arrived with their families at the Turkish-Syrian border on Tuesday and were allowed to enter the country at the town of Reyhanlı under tight security measures.
These latest defections bring the total number of Syrian generals in Turkey to 44.
The 20-month conflict in Syria has brought a total of more than 165,000 Syrian citizens to Turkey, 120,000 of whom have remained as refugees with the remaining 45,564 having returned to Syria, according to the latest statement from the Prime Ministry's Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD).
These refugees are accommodated in a total of 13 tent cities and one container city built by AFAD in seven Turkish provinces along the Syrian border: Hatay, Şanlıurfa, Gaziantep, Osmaniye, Adıyaman, Kilis and Kahramanmaraş. These camps are addressing the refugees' health, security, financial access, communication, social activity and educational needs. Refugees are also given three meals a day.